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Stony Brook University

Copyright Guide

Fair Use

What is fair use? 

Fair use is a part of copyright law  that provides certain limitations on the use of copyrighted materials. 

Under fair use, an instructor or researcher is allowed a certain amount of copying (reproduction) without the copyright owner’s permission for such purposes and factors such as but not limited to:

1) Criticism

2) Research

3) News reporting 

4) Teaching

5) Comment


Four Statutory Factors

To ascertain fair use, there are four statutory factors that should be considered when making a determination:

1) The purpose and character of the use

2) The nature of the original work

3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used as compared to the work as a whole

4) Effect on the protected work's market or value

For a more indepth look into these factors, refer to

A Simple Guide to Fair Use : How to Apply Fair Use to Your Copyright Scenarios 

U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index