Hege Library & Learning Technologies

Copyright, Fair Use, & Intellectual Property

Fair Use

Section 107 of the US copyright law covers fair use. Please note that all factors must be considered equally and the requested use must meet all four in order to be considered fair use. 

The four factors include:

  • The purpose and character of use (whether commercial or non-profit educational)
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount used in relation to the work as a whole
  • The effect of the use on the potential market or value of the copyrighted work

Tools to help you determine fair use

Fair Use Checklist:  From Columbia University, this widely regarded tool walks you through the necessary steps to determine if how you will use a resources falls within Fair Use.  It has been road tested as well!  In the recent "Georgia State" case, the court noted that the checklist was a good tool for faculty use.

Fair Use Checklist: From Cornell University

Thinking through Fair Use:  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.




Fair Use Overview Video by Sara Benson, University of Illinois Library