Skip to Main Content

Copyright & Fair Use: Fair Use

This guide gives some resources on Copyright and Fair Use for the UTA community. This is only a guide to resources, not a legal document.

What is Fair Use?

The doctine of “fair use"  in U.S. Copyright law lists of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

These uses are powerful, but not unrestricted.  The guidelines below will help explain the restrictions on fair use.
Four factors must be considered when evaluating Fair Use. Each of the four factors must be weighed in order to determine fair use.*

1. PURPOSE: The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  • The balance tips toward fair use when use is educational and non-profit, not commercial.

2. NATURE: The nature of the copyrighted work;

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use for published, factual, nonfiction material; the reverse is true for unpublished*or highly creative work (music, novels).

3. AMOUNT: The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use when a portion is small, not central to the work, and tailored to the exact educational purpose intended.

4. MARKET: The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

  • The balance tips in favor of fair use when a legal copy is owned and use doesn't significantly impair sales.



Chilling Effects

How Fair Use Promotes Creation

Fair use


TEACH = The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002

Fairly Used

Loading ...