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A quick guide to Augustana's copyright policy.

Fair Use

What is fair use?

The fair use doctrine of the U.S. Copyright Act allows for limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner for purposes including criticism, parody, news reporting, research and scholarship, and teaching.

How is fair use evaluated?

There are four factors to consider in determining whether use of a copyrighted work is considered fair use under the Copyright Act.

  1. Purpose and character. Is the use non-profit, educational, or commercial? Educational purposes favor fair use but are not enough by themselves to fully determine fair use.
  2. Nature of copyrighted work. Use of published and nonfiction works is more likely to favor fair use.
  3. Amount. Using small portions of a work is more likely to favor fair use.
  4. Market effect. Your use is more likely to fall under fair use if it doesn't affect the potential market for the copyrighted work. This is considered the most important of the four factors.

How can I determine whether my use of a copyrighted work is considered fair use?

There is no firm rule for determining fair use. Instead, you need to make a fair use evaluation every time you use a work that is under copyright. We recommend using tools such as those linked here to make that determination.

What else do I need to know?

For more information about fair use, consult the Augustana College Copyright Policy (linked above), especially sections III b. and IV-VI.