Fair Use Resources
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literary Education
Temple University Media Education Lab, American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, and American University Center for Media & Social Impact.
Fair Use Evaluator
From the American Library Association.
Fair Use Checklist
A helpful checklist created by Columbia University Libraries.
Understanding Fair Use
A helpful website from the University of Minnesota.
U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index
Search a database of judicial decisions pertaining to fair use.
Fair Use: The Four Factors
Fair use allows for the use of copyrighted material without licensing or permission under certain circumstances -- such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is determined on a case by case basis. Copyright law provides the following four factors for guidance in making fair use determinations:
1. Purpose and Character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
2. Nature of the copyrighted work.
3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Fair Use: Transformative Fair Use
When an original work is used in an entirely new way, it is considered transformative and can be used without licensing or permission. Examples of transformative use are parodies, modified images (such as thumbnail images for search engines or books), collages, and music sampling or remixing.
It is important to note that although the law is flexible and can encompass a variety of circumstances, fair use is determined on a case by case basis. For example, some remixes and samples are considered fair use and others are not.