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Copyright Center for CPS Online (UNH Manchester Library): Fair Use Checklist

Use the Fair Use Evaluator to better understand how to determine the "fairness" of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code.

Fair Use Checklist

The purpose of this checklist is to guide you in making decisions on using copyrighted materials under Fair Use. Where the factors favoring fair use outnumber those against it, reliance on fair use is justified. Where fewer than half the factors favor fair use, instructors should work with the College Librarian to explore permission from the rights holder. Where the factors are evenly split, instructors should consider the total facts weighing in favor of fair use as opposed to the total facts weighing against fair use in deciding whether fair use is justified. Not all of the facts will be present in any given situation. Check only those facts that apply to your use. No single item or factor is determinative of fair use.

It is advisable to complete and retain a copy of this checklist for each “fair use” of a copyrighted work in order to establish a “reasonable and good faith” attempt at applying fair use should any dispute regarding such use arise. A printable PDF version of the checklist is provided below.

 

Factor 1: Purpose and Character of the Use

Weighs in Favor of Fair Use

Weighs Against Fair Use

□  Nonprofit Educational Institution

□ Commercial activity, profit from use

□  Used for Purpose of Teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use) and/or Scholarship or Criticism, Comment, News Reporting, or Parody

□ For public distribution

□ Used for noncommercial, nonprofit educational use

□ Used for entertainment

□ Transformative (use changes work for new utility or purpose)

□ Mirror image copying

 

□ Use exceeds that which is necessary to achieve your intended educational purpose

 

Factor 2: Nature of Copyrighted Work

Weighs in Favor of Fair Use

Weighs Against Fair Use

□  Published work

□ Unpublished work

□  Factual/informational and educational in nature or nonfiction work

□ Fiction, or highly creative work (art, music, novel, film, play, poetry)

□  Non-consumable work

□ Consumable work (workbook, test)

 

 Factor 3: Amount and Substantiality of Portion Used

Weighs in Favor of Fair Use

Weighs Against Fair Use

□ Portion used is not central or significant to entire work as a whole

□ Portion used is central to work or heart of the work.

□ Amount taken is narrowly tailored to accomplish a demonstrated, legitimate purpose in the course curriculum and must be narrowly tailored to accomplish that purpose

□ Amount taken is more than necessary to accomplish a demonstrated, legitimate purpose in the course curriculum or is not narrowly tailored to accomplish a demonstrated legitimate purpose in the course curriculum

□ Access limited to students enrolled in course for only the term of the course

□ Access not limited

 

 

Factor 4: Effect on Market for Original

Weighs in Favor of Fair Use

Weighs Against Fair Use

□ Decidedly small portion used

□ Large portion or entire work used

□ User owns lawfully acquired or purchased copy of original work

□ User does not own lawfully acquired or purchased copy of original work

□ Use stimulates market for original work

□ Use impairs the market or potential market for original work

 

Revised for use by Granite State College, based upon the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University’s “Fair Use Checklist”, http://www.copyright.columbia.edu/fair-use-checklist

Checklist in PDF for Printing