The Fair Use clause of the U.S. Copyright Law is a legal doctrine that allows the use of of copyrighted material without permission by the copyright holder under certain circumstances. In order to decide whether a use is fair one needs to take the four factors of Fair Use into account:
- The purpose and character of the use;
- The nature of the work;
- The amount and substantiality of the portion used;
- The effect of the use on the potential market.
The Copyright Alliance has created a number of 2-minute videos that explain the four factors quite well and help to understand when copyrighted material may or may not be used without a license. Check them out! You can also find more information on Fair Use at the University of California’s Copyright webpages.
And if you have more questions regarding Fair Use, if you like to sit down for a consultation, or if you are interested in a workshop for your group, please contact the library’s Scholarly Communications Officer, Michael Ladisch (firstname.lastname@example.org).