This is the "Fair Use" page of the "Copyright for Faculty and Staff" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Copyright for Faculty and Staff  

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Fair Use Print Page

Fair Use Worksheet

The University of Minnesota Duluth has an excellent worksheet that can aid you in determining if your intended use of materials in a classroom meets the fair use criteria.

The American Library Association has a handy tool you can use to evaluate fair use too.

Check these resources out:


The Fair Use Factors

The following four factors must be considered when determining fair use of copyrighted materials (yes, they do apply to educational use too!):

 How will the copy be used?  Fair use is favored if the use is:

  • By a nonprofit educational institution.

  • In face-to-face instruction.

  • With a limited audience or restricted access.  Access to the item, in whatever format, must be limited to only those students in the class. Not creating an anthology or collection or a “course pack” to be used in teaching.

  • For research.

  • For criticism or commentary.

  • With credit to the creator or author.

  • With copyright permission.

What is the nature of the copyrighted work?  Fair use is favored if the original work is:

  • Published.

  • Nonfiction or factual.

  • Not a highly creative work (artwork, music, play, etc.).

How much of the copyrighted work will be copied?  Fair use is favored if:

  • Only a small percentage or portion of the whole work is used (See the 10% guidelines under the Copyright section on this guide).

  • The portion used is not the key part or "heart" of the work.

What effect would the copying have on the potential sale or value of the original work?  Fair use is favored if:

  • The user owns a legal copy of the original work.

  • Only one or a very limited number of copies will be used.

  • It is not used repeatedly or continuously, either in multiple courses or the same course from semester to semester, without permission from the copyright holder.

  • The original work is not a commercially produced consumable item (workbook, standardized test,  etc.).

  • The use would not effect the sale, potential sale, or value of the copyrighted work.

  • There is no license or other legal restriction that would prohibit intended use (e.g., software and other copyrighted technology or services).

When determining fair use, weight must be given to all four of the factors, and the factors must be considered when using any type of copyrighted materials in a classroom (including non-print format).  To see if the material you plan to use in your classroom falls within the fair use guidelines, check out this Fair Use Worksheet in the box on the left.


Loading  Loading...