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Fair Use

Fair Use Week is February 26 - March 1, 2024.

Take a moment to learn about Fair Use!

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use allows the use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances.

It is allowed within the law of copyright, but is itself only a set of guidelines that require the user to make a considered decision based on four factors.


The Four Factors

  • Purpose: Uses of copyrighted material that are educational or non-commercial are more likely to be fair use. Commentary, parody, and news reporting are generally fair.
    • Uses that transform the original work are most likely to be fair.
  • Nature: How the original exists as well the intent behind the creator are a consideration. Published, factual works are more likely to be used fairly.
  • Portion: Smaller, insignificant quantities (rather than using the original work in full) are more likely to be fair use.
  • Market Effect: Copyright exists to protect creators' rights to profit from their works. Uses that will not effect that profit are more likely to be fair.


This video simplifies Fair Use into seven words.



This video both explains and demonstrates Fair Use by being entirely composed of clips from Disney movies.

Watch with captions if you find it hard to follow!

Fair Use Fundamentals

These posters from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) explain some of the fundamentals of Fair Use on campus.