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Copyright & Fair Use

Information on a range of copyright-related topics, including fair use and open access.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

Copyright for Students

The tools linked below can answer your copyright questions!

What can I use in my presentations?

Can I use videos from YouTube?

What is Fair Use?

The "Fair Use" doctrine provides an exception, or limitation, to copyright protection under specific conditions.  Section 107 of the copyright law sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use qualifies as fair use:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
*U.S. Copyright Office Circular 21 (Revised 8/2014; emphasis added).  Link to the complete document below.