Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2019     Views: 214

According to the United States Copyright Office:

"Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected work in certain circumstances."

The Fair Use Doctrine is outlined in Title 17, Chapter 1, Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Code. The Fair Use Doctrine allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without the creator’s permission. Typical examples of use that may fall under the fair use defense include commentary, criticism, news, research, teaching, scholarship, or citation. However, it is important to note that just because a copy of a protected work is made or used for educational purposes, it does not automatically fall under the Fair Use Doctrine. Rather, courts use a variety of factors in determining whether any given circumstance constitutes fair use, including:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for a nonprofit educational purpose;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The 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.

Check out our Copyright Guide for more information.

SNHU has provided the resources on this page to help individuals learn more about copyright laws and issues. However, SNHU cannot be responsible for the accuracy or completeness of third party links. This page is intended to be educational in nature and is not meant to constitute legal advice.

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