Using Copyright Material

Using Copyright Material

In the United States Code, Title 17, Section 107 of the Copyright Law allows for the “fair use” of a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. The Fair Use Doctrine allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the copyright holder, but the limitations are significant. The factors to be considered in determining if the copying is fair use are:

  1. The purpose and character of the use (education is more likely to be fair use and use that causes the work to be used for a new purpose is more likely to be fair use)
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (a fact-based work is more likely to be fair use than a creative fictional work)
  3. The amount and substantiality of the copied portion compared to the work as a whole (a small portion and/or not copying the “best” portion(s) of the work is more likely to be fair use)
  4. The effect of the use on the potential market (copying that does not cause someone to not buy the whole work is more likely to be fair use).

Additional Information