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Copyright Resources  

A guide to the tricky world of copyright: what is covered, what is not, and how to tell the difference.
Last Updated: Jul 1, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Fair Use Print Page

Books on Fair Use in Pratt Institute Libraries

Cover Art
The Future of Ideas - Lawrence Lessig
Call Number: 346.04802 L639 (Manhattan)
ISBN: 0375726446
Publication Date: 2002-10-22

Cover Art
Copyright, Fair Use, and the Challenge for Universities - Kenneth D. Crews
Call Number: 025.12097 C927 (Manhattan)
ISBN: 0226120554
Publication Date: 1993-12-15

Cover Art
Documentary Filmmakers Handbook - Ned Eckhardt
Call Number: 070.18 E19
ISBN: 0786460431
Publication Date: 2011-11-29


A Fair(y) Use Tale

This short by Prof. Eric Faden of Bucknell University pokes fun at the Walt Disney Corp's stringent defense of its intellectual property by using, through the doctrine of Fair Use, short clips of Disney films for the educational purpose of explaining Fair Use.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License


What is Fair Use?

"Fair use" refers to the specific uses of copyrighted material that are allowed under copyright protection without requiring permission from the copyright owner (17 U.S.C. §107). These uses include criticism, parody, commentary, journalism, education and research.

The ability to claim use of something under "fair use" relies on the following factors:

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

(U.S. Copyright Office: Fair Use)

The Fair Use Evaluator provides a guide to these steps, and creates a (non-legally binding) evaluation form at the end.

Fair Use Resources

  • Stanford Fair Use and Copyright Guide
    Very thorough guide on copyright and fair use in law and policy, including case law. Special focus on fair use in academia. Includes the Fairly Used Blog which follows copyright in the news.
  • Fair Use Evaluator
    Produced by the Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association, this interactive site guides you through the process of determining fair use.


The information presented here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.


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