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HACC Library - Copyright Information

This guide provides resources for students, staff, and faculty on copyright law and guidelines to follow.

fair use flower

Fair Use Doctrine

The Copyright Law prohibits reproducing and distributing copyrighted works. However, the "Fair Use Doctrine", set forth in Section 107, provides a set of guidelines pursuant to which researchers, educators, scholars, and others may use copyrighted works without seeking permission or paying royalties. When evaluating whether or not the use of a copyrighted work is "fair use", there are four factors which must be considered::
 

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

The Fair Use Doctrine does not provide a right to use somebody else's work, but presents a defense against accusations of copyright violation for people who reasonably believed that their use of a copyrighted work was fair use. That means that if your use is challenged, you will have the burden of proving that your use qualified as "fair use".