Fair Use Evaluator


Fair Use Evaluator

A fair use argument is used to determine whether the use of a copy would likely be considered fair by a court. Before crafting a fair use argument, you must first ensure that you have followed best practices for copying a work, which include the following:

  1. Identify and attempt to contact the copyright holder through all reasonable means.
  2. Determine available options for licensing the work or obtaining permission to copy it.
  3. Give proper attribution to the original copyright holder and include a notice of copyright within the copy.
  4. Limit the number of people that have access to the copy.

Once those steps have been taken, this tool can help evaluate the relative strength of a potential fair use argument. To use this tool, select the appropriate yes/no response for each question in the form. Select only one response per line. When you have selected all responses, the graph will indicate the relative strength of the argument for each factor of a fair use argument.

Please note: This tool is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or concerns about whether your use of a copy is considered a "fair use," please consult with a qualified lawyer.

Purpose  Yes   Unsure   No 
Is the work being copied for any of the following purposes: criticism, comment, reporting, education, research, or parody? (list adapted from Section 107 of the Copyright Act)
Does the copy transform the original work by adding new expression, meaning, value, or understanding?
Is the work being copied for non-commercial purposes?
Is the work being copied for use in nonprofit education?
Amount  Yes   Unsure   No 
Does the copy consist of a large portion of the original work?
Does the copy consist of the heart of the original work?
Does the copy use more of the original work than is necessary?
Does the copy consist of the most memorable aspect of the original work?
Nature  Yes   Unsure   No 
Had the work been published before the copy was created?
Is the work being copied primarily factual (as opposed to creative)?
Is it important that the public see the copy for news or information purposes?
Does copying the work encourage continued creative expression or scientific thought?
Effect  Yes   Unsure   No 
Does the copy compete directly with the original work?
Could the copy harm the market for the original work if it were to become widespread?
Does the copy deprive the original owner of a new or potential market?
Would the copy supplant or replace the original?

Weak Argument    arrows delineating a weak argument from a strong argument    Strong Argument


"The Fair Use Evaluator" is © 2019 Southern New Hampshire University as part of "OER at Southern New Hampshire University". Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Derivatives of this work are not authorized to use logo(s) of Southern New Hampshire University.

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Download Fair Use Evaluator Source Files. You can also download the Fair Use Evaluator PDF.

  • Last Updated May 07, 2020
  • Views 753
  • Answered By Jennifer Harris

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