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Fair Use

Tips and tricks to support fair use at the University of Chicago.

What Is Fair Use?

Copyright law provides for the principle, commonly called "fair use" that the reproduction of copyright works for certain limited, educational purposes, does not constitute copyright infringement. The Copyright Act establishes a four factor test, the "fair use test," to use to determine whether a use of a copyrighted work is fair use that does not require the permission of the copyright owner. The fair use test is highly fact specific, and much can turn on seemingly insignificant variations on the proposed use.

To determine whether a proposed use is a fair use, consider the following four factors:

Purpose: The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature, or is for nonprofit education purposes.
Nature: The nature of the copyrighted work.
Amount: The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
Effect: The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.

Prefer your information as an infographic? Check out the Fair Use Fundamentals.

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