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Copyright on Campus

Complying with copyright is a priority for Eastern Kentucky University. The Academic Affairs Update will periodically feature a section from Questions and Answers on Copyright for the Campus Community, 7th Edition, which is dedicated to providing clarification on the issue of copyright. The EKU Libraries provide ongoing assistance to faculty and staff regarding copyright use. For further information on copyright permissions and fair use, please contact Linda Sizemore.

What is "fair use?" How does it affect copyrighted material?

The following information can be found on page 5 of Questions and Answers on Copyright for the Campus Community. This material has been reprinted from Questions and Answers on Copyright for the Campus Community, Copyright ©2006, Association of American Publishers Inc., Association of American University Presses, Copyright Clearance Center Inc., National Association of College Stores Inc., and the Software & Information Industry Association.

"Fair use" is a defense to an allegation of infringement under the U.S. copyright law that excuses otherwise infringing limited use of portions of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. There are no black-and-white rules for determining whether a particular activity may be considered a permissible fair use. Instead, Section 107 of the Copyright Act establishes four basic factors that must be considered in deciding whether a use constitutes fair use. These factors are:

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

  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;

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

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

No one factor alone determines a person's right to use a copyrighted work without permission.

Published on November 18, 2011

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