Many myths persist about fair use, an essential right that allows the use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. Read "Infographic Debunks Common Myths about Fair Use" from Association for Research Libraries (ARL).
“Fair use” is an exemption within the copyright law (17 U.S. Code Section 107) that grants you the right to quote or reproduce very small portions of copyrighted materials for educational, non-profit, and personal use without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. “Fair use” is not specifically defined; instead, each use is evaluated by weighing four factors:
The following four factors are used to determine if a use is fair:
The scenarios below are intended to help faculty and students evaluate Fair Use. These scenarios are illustrative, not exhaustive.
The examples deal with situations involving:
The Fair Use Doctrine is probably the most important exemption to copyright protections for educational settings, allowing many uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching and research. The complexity of fair use and its importance in academia make it imperative that every member of the NPS research community understands how to make judgements concerning fair use.
Review these Common Scenarios to help you determine whether or not fair use is appropriate.
Here are some excellent best practices documents, with good examples, for Fair Use across various media: