Fair use is a right outlined in title 17, section 107, U.S. Code, that allows for the reproduction of copyright materials without permission from the copyright holder in certain circumstances. Section 107 outlines a list 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. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
Use the GVSU Fair Use Checklist when you'd like to use copyrighted material, and want to determine whether your use is a Fair Use. The sections of the checklist can help you decide whether you think each of the four factors favors Fair Use or opposes Fair Use.
Whether or not you are within the boundaries of fair use depends on the facts of your particular situation. To determine whether you are within fair use, the law calls for a balanced application of these four factors:
These four factors come directly from the fair use provision, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act, and they have been examined and developed in court rulings. The following summaries explain the significance of the factors as they relate to many university needs.
Adapted and used under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial license from works produced by the Copyright Advisory Office of Columbia University and its former director, Kenneth D. Crews. This adaptation, including original content produced by the Grand Valley State University Libraries, is likewise released under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial license.
This website presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.