“If I tell you how I feel,
Will you keep bringing out the best in me?
You give me, you give me the sweetest taboo.”
Fair Use (Wikipedia entry) is a concept in U.S. law that effectively provides a limited, legal defense against liability for copyright infringement if the use of the copyrighted content is for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, and the use meets a four point test as specified in 17 U.S.C. § 107.
Like almost anything in the copyright arena, there are nuances, and one can expect to find significantly differing opinions about what does and does not constitute “fair use” under the provisions of
Here is a sample of potentially useful resources:
o Fair-Use: Overview and Meaning for Higher Education (
o Copyright and Fair Use (Stanford)
o Highlights of the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia (
o AALL Guidelines on the Fair Use of Copyrighted Works by Law Libraries
It should be noted that this general concept of educational and similar uses exceptions to copyright is also present in the law of other nations; for example, in Commonwealth nations there is a kindred concept called “Fair Dealing” (Wikipedia entry).
So, dear readers, know the law, and help your users make full use of the privileges it accords. And celebrate Fair Use Day every day!