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Citing Sources: Fair Use

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

"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  or information for an article, rather than a copy of the article itself.

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.

No defined boundary; "Fair Use" decisions made case by case, based on Four Factor Test

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.

FVTC Fair Use Policy

"Fair Use:  A provision for fair use is found in the Copyright Act at Section 107. Under the fair use provision, a reproduction of someone else's copyright-protected work is likely to be considered fair if it is for limited use for one of the following purposes: criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. If the reproduction is for one of these purposes, a determination as to whether the reproduction is fair use must be made based upon four factors:
1. The purpose and character of use (principally, whether for commercial or nonprofit educational use);
2. The nature of the copyright-protected work (is the work published, unpublished or not released to the public domain, unpublished and non-public works have very limited Fair Use);
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used (limited/short passages and material not “central” to the work are typically Fair Use); and
4. The effect of the use being evaluated upon the potential market for or value of the copyright-protected work. (i.e. If the work can be purchased or obtained commercially, it is typically NOT considered Fair Use.) 

Additionally, repeated use over several terms or courses weighs against fair use, particularly if any of the other criteria are not met. If your use does not meet the above criteria and the work is protected by copyright, you probably need to obtain permission to use the work from the copyright holder or its agent. When in doubt, obtain permission. "

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