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Copyright and Course Materials for TWU Professors

Fair Use in Academia

Fair use, or Section 107 of the Copyright Act, allows reproduction and other uses of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.  The Fair Use Doctrine is probably the most important exemption to copyright protections for educational settings, allowing many uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching and research.

Tools to Determine Fair Use

The Fair Use Evaluator helps users collect, organize, and document the information they need to support a fair use claim, and  provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records.

Developed by the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy.

TWU's Fair Use Checklist

The Fair Use Checklist can help educators, librarians, lawyers, and many other users of copyrighted works determine whether their activities are within the limits of fair use under U.S. copyright law (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act). Four factors form the structure of this checklist.  Congress and courts have offered some insights into the meanings of the factors, and those interpretations are reflected in the details of this form.

The following four factors are used to determine if a use is fair:

  1. The purpose of the use (eg. commercial vs. educational)
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount of the material used (the greater the amount copied, the less likely it is fair use)
  4. The effect of use on the potential market for, or value of the work

It is important to note that not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use