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CONTENT REUSAGE (f) What is fair use?

Question: CONTENT REUSAGE (f) What is fair use?

• To avoid a potential challenge from the copyright holder, we recommend following the policy, "When in doubt, obtain permission."

• By definition, fair use is a concept in copyright law allowing, without permission from copyright holder, short quotations from a copyrighted product for purposes of reviewing or teaching. However, not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered fair use.

• Although there are no set page counts or percentages that define the boundaries of fair use, a general rule of thumb used by some publishers is that consecutive text of less than 400 words, or 800 words from a single article would generally be considered fair use, provided that the purpose of such use is for criticism or comment of the article in question, and provided that the new work (article or chapter) does not become a substitute for, or make the purchase unnecessary of, the original copyrighted work.

• For students, a single photocopy of part of a copyrighted work, such as a copy of an article from a scientific journal made for research, would likely be considered fair use. Yet there are limits, even for students. For example, photocopying all the assignments from a book recommended for purchase by the instructor, making multiple copies of articles or book chapters for distribution to classmates, or copying material from workbooks, would most likely not be considered fair use under a reasonable application of the fair use factors.

• Fair use in academia might include
--- i. Making one copy of a journal article
--- ii. Copying selected pages within a book
--- iii. Downloading and printing one copy of an electronic article

• Not fair use (requires permission from copyright holder):
--- i. Copying large portions of books
--- ii. Making multiple photocopies
--- iii. Making numerous copies of electronic files.

• Section 107 of the Copyright Act, entitled, "Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use," is the statutory codification of the fair use doctrine. For details review the Copyright Act or consult an attorney.

Examples of Fair Use include:
--- • Quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.
--- • Quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work for illustration or clarification of the author's observations.
--- • Limited reproduction of material for classroom use (one copy per student) where the reproduction was unexpected and spontaneous-for example, where an article in the morning's paper is directly relevant to that day's class topic.
--- • Use in a parody of short portions of the work itself.
--- • A summary of an address or article, which may include quotations of short passages of the copyrighted work.

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