Skip to Main Content

Copyright: Fair Use Checklist

Favoring Fair Use

These uses favour a judgement of fair use.

Purpose (+ for use)

  • Used for teaching or research
  • Used to report the news
  • Used in parody
  • Used in critical comment

Nature (+ for use)

  • Published work
  • Factual or nonfiction

Amount (+ for use)

  • Small quantity
  • Used portion is not central or signifigant to entire work
  • Amount is appropriate to the educational purpose

Economic Impact (+ for use)

  • Use does not replace a sale of the work
  • Lawfully used/acquired the original work
  • One or few copies were made
  • Copies were destroyed after educational use
  • Use was limited to course students
  • Use was not made available to the general public
  • Original work lacked a licensing mechanism
  • Use did not avoid fees or produce profit
  • Use was short term
  • Use did not effect the market value of the work


The Copyright Information Guide is provided by the University Libraries as an educational service to the University community.  The information contained in this guide is not legal advice.  Individuals and organizations should consult the Wright State University Office of the General Counsel or their own attorney.

Opposing Fair Use

These uses oppose a judgement of fair use.

Purpose (- against use)

  • Used to entertain
  • Used to falsely claim ownership of an idea
  • Used for commercial activity (with or without profit)
  • Use is a derivative of a copyrighted work

Nature (- against use)

  • Unpublished
  • Highly creative (fiction, art, music, film, play)

Amount (- against use)

  • Large quantity
  • Used portion is central to work (the "heart of the work")
  • Educational purpose could be met with less

Economic Impact (- against use)

  • Use replaces a sale of the work
  • Original work was not lawfully used or acquired
  • Many copies were made
  • Copies were kept after the educational use
  • Use ocurred in a public forum
  • Use was publically accessible (ex: the Internet)
  • Original work is available through licensing
  • Use avoided fees or included profit
  • Use was long term
  • Use affected the market value of the work


This checklist was adapted from the Fair Use Checklist from Columbia University.

Wright State Policy

Wright State University

Copyright Policy

Ask the Author

An author may grant limited use of his or her copyrighted material.  Direct contact with an author may help you to resolve questions of use.

Copyright Assistance

For assistance with copyright questions, Wright State students, staff, and faculty should contact:

Wright State University Office of General Counsel