The doctrine of fair use is one of the more important limitations to copyright law. The doctrine of fair use has been developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years and has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
Thoughtful analysis of these four factors in relationship to the need for the copy must be made in order to arrive at a good faith determination of fair use for a specific situation. Authors are encouraged to use the Fair Use Worksheet attached to this document and to file the completed worksheet with the product. When relying on fair use, proper attribution should be included and material should be marked to indicate copyright protection.
Faculty are encouraged to use the four factors and the Fair Use Checklist provided in this document instead of the older 1976 Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-profit Educational Institutions with Respect to Books and Periodicals (often referred to as the "Classroom Guidelines").
Coursepacks are not covered by fair use. UD Graphic Communications obtains the appropriate copyright clearances and handles the charges. Details of the Graphics Communications Center Coursepack Reproduction Procedures are posted at www.udel.edu/printing/howto/coursepacks.html.
Library Reserve Material
The Library adheres carefully to copyright law. For more information about copyright and electronic reserve material, please see the information posted at library.udel.edu/reserve/faculty/e-reserves/copyright-guidelines/. When library staff are reviewing documents submitted for Electronic Reserves, they will be considering the four factors of fair use as provided by copyright law (Title 17, Section 107) as listed in this document.
Infographics and Charts
A Fair(y) Use Tale, a very short film by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University, takes an informative and humorous look at fair use and copyright using clips from Disney movies.
Five videos for Fair Use Week
How Have We Faired? Fair Use, A Year In Review, Ann Thornton, university librarian and vice provost of Columbia University, explains in a four-minute video how fair use has contributed to allowing “quality” access to scholarly materials. Thornton also talks about the importance of open access and why it must act in tandem with fair use.
Texas A&M University Libraries has created a two-minute video explaining what fair use is and how, rather than creating strict rules about fair use, the university libraries has empowered faculty to determine what is fair use in the context of their own classrooms.
University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst Libraries highlights in a one-minute video its W. E. B. Du Bois collection as an example of one of its special collections that it has digitized and made available online relying on fair use.
Gerald Beasley, vice-provost and chief librarian at the University of Alberta, emphasizes in a four-minute video the balance of rights in copyright.