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Copyright: Fair Use

Copyright Protects

Under US Code 17 Section 102 the following are protected:

  • Literature
  • Music and lyrics
  • Drama
  • Pantomime and dance
  • Pictures, graphics, sculpture
  • Films
  • Sound Recordings
  • Architecture
  • Software

In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodies in such work.

What Determines Fair Use?

The following four factors are used to determine if a use is fair:

  1. The purpose of the use (eg. commercial vs. educational)*
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount of the material used (the greater the amount copied, the less likely it is fair use)
  4. The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work

* Not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use!

Fair Use

Best Practices