Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright & Citing Sources: Fair Use

DISCLAIMER: Material provided is only intended as a guide. This guide is not a substitute for professional legal advice.

If it is on the Internet, it is free to use, right?

Not exactly.  Just because content is on the Internet does not mean it is free to be used in any situation. All original content, regardless of access, may have copyright protection, even if it is not declared.

When in doubt, treat everything as under copyright, until proven otherwise.

Movies in the Classroom

FOUR FACTOR TEST of Fair Use

How does your use add up when applying 4-Factor test?

Fair Use - 4 Factor analysis:

1. The purpose and character of your use
Fairer: Non-profit.  Educational. 

2. The nature of the copyrighted work
Fairer: Facts. 

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
Fairer: Just a quote, a few pages. 

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market.
Fairer: One article for personal, non-profit, educational use.

"Fair Use" and Copyright Law

Fair Use: Generally refers to copying or using a work or part of a work for personal, non-commercial, or educational use, rather than financial gain. Each cases must be determined on its own merits, based on the "Four Factors" and context of use.

Best Practice: Share the lik icon or cite icon information for an article, rather than a copy of the article itself.

FVTC Copyright and Fair Use Policy

more detail

Copyright infringement is decided on a case by case basis. Using something for your own, personal, educational, non-profit use is usually fair use.  Making money off of someone else's creative work without license or permission is usually not fair use. 

 

Fair Use - 4 Factor analysis:   

1. The purpose and character of your use
Fairer: Non-profit.  Educational. 
Unfair: Taking credit for original poem/story/picture you did not originate yourself.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work
Fairer: Facts. EX: New books available at the library.
Unfair: Stealing an unpublished fictional piece of writing you did not create (or hire someone to create).

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
Fairer: Just a quote, a few pages. EX: Title and publisher date.
Unfair: Selling or giving away copies of the part of the work that would be the sole reason someone would buy the work.

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market.
Fairer: One article for personal, non-profit, educational use.

Unfair: If you steal or prevent the opportunity for the copyright owner to make money or gain status.


Fair Use - 4 Factor analysis:

1. The purpose and character of your use
Fairer: Educational. 
Less fair: Trying to gain value (more status) for less or no original work.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work
Fairer: Facts. New research using new variables or new subjects.
Less Fair: Re-using old without self-citing. Re-using old summaries and methods, no changes to methods.  Re-doing old work. 

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
Fairer: Just a quote, a few pages. 
Less fair: The whole thing, or the main point of the book, article, etc. EX:Re-publishing under different name in differnt journal. (See #1)

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market.
Fairer: One article for personal, non-profit, educational use.

Less fair: Preventing content owner an opportunity to make money. EX: Person can get same article from cheaper journal. Only a problem if publisher owns content.

Does anyone care? Yes. Universities that try to treat faculty equally and fairly for granting tenure. Other competitors that lost out on tenure because they acted ethically, will certainly try to uncover your unethical behavior.

chat loading...

About UsContact UsFVTC Terms of ServiceSitemap
FVTC Privacy StatementFVTC Library Services Accessibility Statement
Our goal is to be as unbiased as possible. Any commercial mentions on our website are for instructional purposes only.

Fox Valley Technical College • Library Services • 1825 N. Bluemound Drive • Room G113
Appleton, WI 54912-2277 • United States • (920) 735-5653
© 2022 • Fox Valley Technical College • All Rights Reserved.

The https://library.fvtc.edu/ pages are hosted by SpringShare. Springshare Privacy Policy.