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Fair Use

By law, others are allowed some use of copyrighted material if they can show that is not commercial, does not infringe on the main copyrighted idea, and will not affect the potential market for the original copyrighted work.  The purpose is to allow a work to be used for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, or research.

Be careful, in order to claim “fair use,” you have to admit that you have infringed or used someone else’s copyrighted material. A court will decide if the use is fair. If a copyright dispute ends up in court, a judge will look at 4 factors to determine fair use.

Purpose or Character of Use.  Is the work for commercial or non-commercial use?  Commercial use is not likely fair use.

Nature of Original Work. Facts cannot be copyrighted, only the way that they are presented.  Use of creative fiction is less likely to be considered fair use. 

Amount and Substantiality of Use.Are the main parts or substance of the original use being used or is only a minor part of the work in question being used?

Affect on Potential Market or Value of Work.Is there a likelihood of harm from the intended use?  Copyright owners do not have to prove actual damages, only potential damages.

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Copyright Notices
Fair Use
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Obtaining Permission
Distant Education
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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is being made available in an efforts to advance understanding of educational, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.  If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.