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Fair Use and Copyright

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Fair use may not be as well known as copyright, but there are many great resources to help you understand the concepts and how to apply them.

UMassD Fair Use Blog

Our committee has a blog for events such as webinars and speakers here on campus as well as news items and the latest rulings on cases. 

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What is Fair Use?

In determining fair use, you should weigh the benefit to society against the author's reward. Here are the four factors that can determine fair use and some questions to think about: 

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
      Is it a transformative?  Are you using the material in a new way?
      Is the use for teaching or scholarship?
      What is the intent behind the usage?


2. The nature of the copyrighted work
      Is it a work of fiction or non-fiction?
      Is it educational or commercial?
      Is the work factual or creative?


3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
      How much of the work do you really need?
      Are you using the heart of the work?

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
      Would the publisher/author be harmed financially because this would replace sales of their work?
      How would this use affect the author if everyone did this?

Fair Use Resources

Fair Use Toolkit