Fair use explicitly allows use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Rather than listing exact limits of fair use, copyright law provides four standards for determination of the fair use exemption:
- Purpose of use: Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of an anthology.
- Nature of the work: For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable.
- Proportion/extent of the material used: Duplicating excerpts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair use.
- The effect on marketability: If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply. This is the most important of the four tests for fair use (U. S. Copyright Office)
Guidelines for Print Materials:
- Single Chapter from a book
- A single article from a journal issue or newspaper
- A short story, essay, or poem from an individual work.
- A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, journal, or newspaper.
Guidelines for Distributing Copies
- Copies made do not substitute for the purchase of books or journals.
- Provide a copyright notice on the first page of the material copied. The American Library Association recommends using "Notice: This material is subject to the copyright law of the United States."
- Provide only one copy per student which becomes the property of the student.
- Copying the works for subsequent semesters requires copyright permission.
- Do not charge the students beyond the cost of making the photocopy.
Guidelines for Using Materials Found on the Internet
- Look on the webpage to see if there is information on how to use the work. If guidelines exist - use them!
- Always credit the source of your information
- If you are using material from the Internet on your webpage ask permission or link to the site.
- If you gather and receive permission to use the material keep a copy of your request for permission and their response.
- Marymount authorized users may link to full text journal articles.
Guidelines for Using Multi-Media
Multimedia works are created by combining copyrighted media elements such as motion media, music, other sounds, graphics, and text. It is recommended that you use only small portions of other people's works.
What is considered a small portion?
- Motion media: Up to 10% or three minutes, whichever is less.
- Text: Up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less. (The limits on poetry are more restrictive.)
- Music: Up to 10% of an individual copyrighted musical composition, or up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition embodied on a sound recording. However, no more than 30 seconds may be used without gaining permission from the copyright owner or licensing collective.
- Illustrations and photos: Under the guidelines, "a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety, but no more than five images by one artist or photographer may be incorporated into any one multimedia program. From a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be used."
- Numerical Data Sets: Up to 10% or 2,5000 fields or cell entries, whichever is less.
The following guidelines allow you to use multimedia without permission of lawfully acquired copyrighted works.
- You may incorporate portions of copyrighted works when creating your own multimedia projects for educational or instructional (not commercial) purposes.
- Students may incorporate "portions" of copyrighted materials for a project in a specific course.
- Students may display their own projects, use them in their portfolio, use the project for a job interview or as supporting materials in an application for school.
- Faculty may use their projects for class assignments, curriculum materials, remote instruction, for conferences, presentations, or workshops, or for their professional portfolio.
- Give attribution to the original source of all copyrighted material used.
- Place a copyright notice on the opening screen of the multimedia program and accompanying print material that "certain materials are included under fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law...and are restricted from further use."
- Fair use of the copyrighted materials expires at the end of two years. To use the project again you need to obtain permission.
Guidelines for Images
Fair Use Guidelines For Digital Images created by Xavier University Library provides useful information for assessing fair use of digital images.
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media
The Center for Media and Social Impact in the School of Communication at American University has a web page with helpful information.
There are also different guidelines for fair use depending on the material being used.