Answered By: Jennifer Luzadder
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2015     Views: 12

No use automatically qualifies as Fair Use; each and every use must be evaluated by being put through the Fair Use checklist.  Fair use is very explicit in its protection.  Fair use asks that faculty consider four factors, which are presented in the checklist.  

The most common violations relate to the amount and substantiality of the work being used; if you are showing only a portion of the work, you are safer, provided that the small portion shown isn’t considered the “heart” of the work.  

The other most common violation relates to the effect on the market. If you are photocopying pages for students often, you are allowing them to avoid purchasing the book - and affecting the market. If you are copying a worksheet for a student who simply forgot their book at home, you are not affecting the market and are safer.  

Remember, fair use is not blanket protection; rather, it is a defense that will be considered if you are ever brought into a courtroom.  Therefore, you can’t make a blanket statement such as, “making photocopies for students is a violation of copyright.”  Each instance is different, and must be evaluated as such.

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