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Copyright Reminder

Many common campus activities involve copyright, and so it is critical that all Stanford faculty, students and staff have a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives.  The Stanford University Libraries provide this Copyright Reminder to ensure that all members of the Stanford community have access to that critical information.  The Copyright Reminder highlights common campus copyright concerns, and outlines the fundamental elements of US copyright law that apply in those situations.

Fair Use

Fair Use allows limited use of copyrighted materials for educational and research purposes.  The statute outlines four factors that should be assessed in determining whether a use is a Fair Use.  These are:

  • the purpose and character of your use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market.

The test is, intentionally, fact dependent, so you need to look at each use individually to determine if it is a Fair Use. 

Stanford’s Copyright & Fair Use site (http://fairuse.stanford.edu) provides much more detail on Fair Use, its application, and relevant case law..