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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
Fair Use Guidelines
Obtaining Permission
Distant Education
Issues on the Web


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