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FTCC Copyright Compliance Center!

Guides to copyright policy and training resources for faculty, staff, and students.

Fair Use Criteria

The Copyright Law of the United States of America, Title 17, Sect.107

Fair Use is a privilege.

Use of copyrighted material is based on the four factors detailed in the Copyright Act.  Fair Use is determined by balancing these four factors in relation to the use.

  1. Purpose and character of the use
    • Commercial or educational use
    • For profit or not
    • Degree of transformation: value added
    • For criticism, commentary, news reporting
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work
    • Character of the work (consider factual vs fiction)
    • Worthy of (extensive) protection?
  3. Amount and substantially used
    • Use only what's necessary
    • Quantity and quality in relation to the whole work
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
    • Harm to the market or potential market of a work after a portion has been used separately from the whole

Source: Four Factors of Fair Use, Ball State University: http://cms.bsu.edu/Academics/Libraries/CollectionsAndDept/Copyright/FairUseTEACH/FourFactorsFairUse.aspx


Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Check List To Help Document Fair Uses

Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.


Tools to Help Determine Fair Use


Fair Use Analysis Tool: guides users through the process of determining if a use is fair. Developed by The University of Minnesota Libraries.

Fair Use Evaluator: helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and  provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records. Developed by the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy.


 Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.