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Copyright Guide for DVC Faculty

This research guide is intended to let faculty know the basics about copyright and fair use, and how it applies to their course materials.

Fair Use Doctrine

The Fair Use Doctrine (17 US Code sec. 107) allows instructors to use copyrighted printed/textual materials in their classes without obtaining permission, provided that certain conditions are met. Each factor is given equal weight.


"Four Factors" Test

The following "Four Factors" are used to determine fair use:
  1. The purpose and character of the use
    • purpose- commercial vs. educational use
    • character- Does the use transform the original work?
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (creative works have more protection than factual works)
  3. The amount of the material used (the greater the amount, the less likely it is fair use)
  4. The effect of use on the potential market for or value of the work

Fair Use Evaluator - Make a Fair Use Evaulation!

This tool was developed by the Copyright Advisory Network of the American Library Association to help instructors perform a fair use evaluation. Creates a time-stamped, PDF document of the evaluation.