Information About Fair Use
What is Fair Use?
Fair use is a copyright principle which reserves certain limited rights for the public that would otherwise be the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. These rights allow scholarship, commentary and criticism of work to occur. For example, scholars wishing to review a book must be able to quote from the book without first seeking permission.
Do not assume that a non-profit, educational use or giving credit for the source of the work, or that limiting access to materials to students in th classess creates an inherent fair use.
If a copyright owner disagrees with a fair use interpretation, the dispute may need to be resolved by courts or arbitration. Because it is not clearly defind by the Copyright Act, it remains a somewhat subjective concept and open to variations of interpretation. If a court finds that the use is not a "fair use," then you are infringing upon the rights of the copyright owner and may be liable for damages.
In order to determine if a proposed use would be considered "fair use", a four factor analysis needs to be conducted which considers:
- The PURPOSE of the use (educational, scholarly vs commercial, entertainment)
- The NATURE of the use (published, factual vs unpublished, creative)
- The AMOUNT of the use (small quantity, not central to the entire work vs large portion, "heart of the work"
- The EFFECT of the use (lawful copy, one or fewer copies made vs significantly impacting market for work, numerous copies made, repeated or long-term use)
There are numerous tools available to help you determine if a proposed use is considered "fair use." Before the next time you post material to a CLEo site, cut-and-paste material into a paper, download music, copy an article to share with colleagues and friends, screen a film to a group, or engage in other common activities, consider using:
Fair Use Analysis Tool (Univ. Minnesota)
Copyright Decision Map (Univ. Minnesota)
As with commercially published works, the four factors of Fair Use are used to determine if copying from unpublished works is appropriate.
Creating Derivative Work
A derivative work is a work based upon one or more preexisting works. Translations, musical arrangements, dramatizations, fictionalizations, are each examples of derivative works. Any other form in which an original work may be recast, transformed, or adapted may be considered a derivative work. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”. Title 17 U.S.C. Section 101