Brandeis Library & Technology Services

CopyRIGHT or CopyWRONG: Understanding the Basics of Fair Use

February 22nd, 2016 · No Comments


Fair Use Week is an annual celebration focused on raising awareness about the importance of fair use.

Generally speaking, “fair use” applies to the use of copyrighted material for limited (and specific) purposes. Purposeful uses can include, commentary, criticism or parody, and in these instances work can be used without permission from the copyright owner. Without Fair Use laws, satirical shows like Saturday Night Live would cease to exist.

Brandeis University is an active participant in utilizing (and granting access to) materials under the Fair Use doctrine. We work to actively support and expand access to information for scholars and researchers in various ways.  

Understanding how to properly use copyrighted materials under the fair use doctrine is important because it can be used as a defense against copyright infringement claims. An important distinction about Fair Use is not whether materials are available under this doctrine, but rather if your use of the materials are covered by the doctrine. There are a few of ways you can determine if the way you’re using materials is governed by Fair Use. . We recommend that you try to get a better understanding of U.S. copyright law and fair use doctrines.

Fair use is a right we must exercise, or we could lose it.

Resources to Use (fairly) & Share:

Brandeis Fair Use Guide

Lynda Video Playlist

Coursera Courses on Copyright

edX Courses on Copyright

Tags: Faculty · Graduate Students · Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship · Research · Scholarly Information Resources · Staff · Undergraduate Students

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