Fair Use Guides
Copyright Decision Map
Fair Use Checklist
The checklist below can be used to determine if your particular use falls under the Fair Use exemption. As you work through the checklist, you will get a sense of which side of the equation your use falls-permissible or not.
Fair Use Analysis Tool
University of Minnesota
A Fair(y) Use Tale
Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright law.
Understanding Fair Use
Fair Use is one means by which copyrighted works can be used under certain circumstances without first obtaining permission of the copyright holder. Fair Use is limited, but flexible, and is commonly used in educational settings. Making a Fair Use determination is not a simple "yea or nay" decision.
Conducting a Fair Use analysis requires weighing four factors for each individual use, and seeing if, on balance the use is a fair one. Sometimes, the use is clear-cut. Other times, it's a judgement call, and two people analyzing the same situation can come up with different outcomes. Such is the nature of Fair Use.
The four factors are:
- nature of the publication
- market effect
CONFU: The Conference on Fair Use
The Conference on Fair Use Guidelines clarify the application of fair use of copyrighted works in the digital educational environment. CONFU guidelines are particularly useful for educators and students who are working on educational projects like video podcasting, multimeida projects utilizing sound and videos, etc.
Based on CONFU guidelines educators and students do not need to secure copyright permissions if they make a faithful effort to correspond with these suggested limits:
- Motion Media: Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines.
- Text Material: Up to 10% or 1000 words, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted work consisting of text material may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any anthology may be used. For poems of greater length, 250 words may be used but no more than three excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology may be used.
- Music, Lyrics, and Music Video: Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.