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Copyright Guide

An online guide that provides information and tutorials to assist faculty with making materials accessible to students.

Fair Use Checklist

These checklists can help you determine if you can use your materials under "Fair Use."

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is a longstanding doctrine, embodied in Section 107 of the Copyright Act ( (17 U.S.C., sec.107), which recognizes the importance of accessing, using and building upon copyrighted works in the context of teaching, research and scholarship.  The law establishes a zone of fair use protection for copying or disseminating work without obtaining permission from the copyright owner under certain circumstances.  The copyright statue provides a framework for deciding whether a particular use is a “fair use.”  Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

  2. The nature of the copyrighted work

  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

Use of Digital Media and Images

“Fair use” of copyright-protected images:

Best opportunity to use images that are not published in journals, textbooks, and other publications.  Focus on the “transformative” factor- if using the image in a new and ‘content-driven’ manner, more likely to be seen as fair use.

Fair Use at SJU