Copyright Law: Fair Use Guidelines
Following are general standards of “Fair Use” that must be considered when evaluating whether materials are within the legal limitations of “Fair Use.”
Purpose of the Use – How will the materials be used, and by whom?
- The purpose of using the materials must be for private study, scholarship or research.
- Materials must become the property of the person making the copies and are not to be distributed to others.
Nature of the Work – What is the format of the work?
- The law of fair use applies more narrowly to highly creative works.
- Duplication of informational materials prepared for public consumption (like newspapers, news broadcasts) is more likely to be considered fair use.
Amount of the Work – How much of the work will be used?
Single copies of written materials are permissible, within limits:
- One chapter of a book
- One story or essay from an anthology
- One graphic or picture
- One article from a magazine or journal
- As the amount duplicated increases, fair use decreases; if more copies than what is listed above areneeded, either purchase the item or request permission.
- If it is determined after a reasonable search that a copy cannot be obtained at a fair price, it ispermissible to copy an entire work or a substantial part of a work
Effect of the Use on the Market for the Original – Will the intended use cause the copyright holder to losesales?
- Copies may not be distributed or sold to others
- No materials may be from works intended to be “consumable,” such as workbooks, exercises, test booklets and answer sheets, etc.
- Copies may not have been used to create or replace anthologies, compilations, or collective works