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Fair Use

Related to the Copyright Policy established by the University of Fairfax, students and faculty must adhere to University policies with respect to Fair Use and Academic Integrity. These policies are as follows:

The law allows faculty members, in some circumstances, to copy and distribute portions of copyrighted works to students, without permission of the copyright holder, under an exception known as Fair Use. 

Certain guidelines must be followed under the Fair Use exception.

  • Use of the material must be for educational purposes only; the material must not be sold for profit.
  • Only that portion of a work that is needed for educational purposes should be copied, up to a maximum of 10% of the work or one chapter, whichever is less.

Fair Use will not apply if the faculty member repeatedly uses the same material for the same course. In this case, permission must be sought by the copyright holder, and potential royalty obligations may be incurred.

Fair Use Finder

Fair Use Finder Under U.S. Copyright Law

The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about copyright policies and fair use, the following resources can serve as helpful reference resources, as well as tools to help you determine if your use of copyrighted materials falls within the limits of fair use.