Last Updated: Oct 24, 2023 Views: 693

According to the United States Copyright Office This link opens in a new window:

"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.

For information and resources, including tools that can help you to understand whether a planned use of materials is a fair use or not, visit the Check out our Fair Use and Permission page on the SNHU Copyright Research 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.


Last Updated: October 24, 2023

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