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Copyright & the Classroom

Fair Use Definition

Fair Use permits the limited use of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder.

There are four factors that govern Fair Use. While most uses of materials in an educational setting are making implicit Fair Use claims, such uses are not automatically Fair Use and must be individually evaluated on a basis of the four factors. 

The Four Factors

Fair Use Best Practices

  • Use only the portion necessary - using a smaller portion of a copyrighted work when possible is better
  • Consider alternatives - if using content cannot be considered Fair Use, replace with with other content
  • Put content in Canvas course only - content posted to Canvas is only accessible by students currently enrolled in the course
  • Document your Fair Use items - note basic info (i.e. resource, portion used, class, semester, rationale) for the Fair Use content used each semester