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Copyright and Fair Use : Fair Use

This guide includes resources for faculty and students to use to answer their questions concerning Copyright and Fair Use.

Fair Use Liaison

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Jackie Burger
Canvas Inbox: Jacqueline Burger

Fair Use

Any download/upload of a document and/or multimedia file or  copying/pasting a section of text/multimedia not in the public domain, or licensed for such use, violates Copyright. To defend use of Copyright materials in courses, you must consider the following:

Section 107 of the copyright law permits defense of use by claiming the use fair. Determining fair use requires the proof of consideration for the following four criteria:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

*Fair Use. United States Copyright Office. <> accessed September 25, 2018.

Determining Nature of your Use

Ask yourself these two questions*:

1.  Did the use “transform” the copyrighted material by using it for a
purpose significantly different from that of the original, or did it
do no more than provide consumers with a “substitute” for the

2. Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount,
considering the nature of both the copyrighted work and the use?

If you can answer yes to both questions, you have a strong case of fair use. 

*Retrieved from: Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lessons for Librarians