This information below is found on Columbia University’s website which provides a detailed summary on Copyright and Fair Use. This page is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution License with attribution to its author Dr. Kenneth D. Crews (formerly of Columbia University).
Fair use may not be what you expect. Whether or not you are within the boundaries of fair use depends on the facts of your particular situation. What exactly are you using? How widely are you sharing the materials? Are you confining your work to the nonprofit environment of the university?
To determine whether you are within fair use, the law calls for a balanced application of 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 judicial decisions. The following summaries identify and explain the significance of the factors as they relate to many university needs.
Fair Use is a Balancing Test
To determine whether a use is or is not a fair use, always keep in mind that you need to apply all four factors. For example, do not jump to a conclusion based simply on whether your use is educational or commercial. You still need to evaluate, apply, and weigh in the balance the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount or substantiality of the portion used, and the potential impact of the use on the market or value of the work. This flexible approach to fair use is critical in order for the law to adapt to changing technologies and to meet innovative needs of higher education. Not all factors need to weigh either for or against fair use, but overall the factors will usually lean one direction or the other. Also, the relative importance of the factors is not always the same. Your analysis should guide you to a conclusion.
US Copyright Office Fair Use Index
Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center
Center for Media and Social Impact
Section 107 US Copyright Act
Copyright teaching and professional development resources
Images & Audio
Make sure to use advanced search features to show only media in the creative commons licenses, or those designated as in the public domain.
This page is licensed by a Creative Commons Attribution License with attribution to its author Dr. Kenneth D. Crews (formerly of Columbia University).
Four Factors of Fair Use
Source: Stanford Center for Internet and Society