Copyright @ Fontbonne University

Copyright Policy and Forms

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Fontbonne's copyright policy is outlined in Section 2.5 of Volume II of the Fontbonne policy manualsCampus Community Policies. 

What is Fair Use?

An exemption to copyright law is found in Section 107 of the Code. Under this “fair use” provision, a reproduction of a copyright-protected work is likely to be considered fair if it is used for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

The Fair Use exemption allows many uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching and research. The complexity of Fair Use and its importance in higher education make it imperative that every instructor understands how to make judgments concerning fair use.

What Determines Fair Use?

Not all uses in an academic context are automatically considered Fair Use. You must complete a Fair Use Analysis on each item.

The line between a "fair use" and infringement is not clearly defined, and the use of a copyright-protected work requires careful analysis to determine if the use is actually fair. There is no specific amount that may be used without permission, and crediting a source does not exempt the user from obtaining permission when warranted.

A Fair Use Analysis considers the following four factors to determine if a use is fair:

  1. The purpose of the use (e.g., commercial vs. educational)
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (e.g., literary or non-dramatic)
  3. The amount of the material used
  4. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the work

This analysis should be completed for EACH work under consideration for use in a course. You can use a Fair Use evaluator to help you make a decision.

Fair Use Everyday

Fair Use Myths & FactsThe complete infographic from the Association of Research Libraries is available HERE

Tools to Help You Determine if Yours is a Fair Use

Use this evaluation tool to help determine whether your proposed use is fair use.

Keep your final assessment with other notes for this course.

Obtaining Permission

If you have determined that your use does not constitute a Fair Use and that the TEACH Act does not allow you an exemption, you will need to seek permission from the copyright holder to use the work.

Steps to obtain permission to use copyrighted material:

  • Identify the copyright holder or agent. 
  • Decide if you are willing to pay a licensing fee/royalty. If so, move to Step 3.
  • Send a written request for permission. Remember to give yourself ample lead time, as the process for obtaining permissions can take months.
  • File the written permission with other materials for that course.

If the copyright holder can't be located or is unresponsive (or if you are unwilling to pay a license fee), be prepared to use a limited amount that qualifies For fair Use or use alternative material. Lack of response does not constitute permission.

Determining Fair Use

These scenarios from New York University Libraries (below) are intended to help faculty and students evaluate fair use. These scenarios are illustrative, not exhaustive. 

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All guides licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.