Skip to Main Content

Copyright: Fair Use

Wright State Policy

Wright State University

Copyright Policy

Fair Use check List


Consult the Fair Use Checklist.

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


Fair Use, A resonable and limited use of a copyright work without the author's permission, such as quoting from a book in a book review or using parts of it in a parody. * Fair use is a defense in an infringement claim, depending on the following statutory factors: (1) the purpose and character of the use, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount of the work used, and (4) the economic impact of the use.  17 USC S 107.

~Black's Law Dictionary, 7th ed.

For more information consult:

Fair Use Factors of Considersation

These four factors are considered together:

  • Purpose
  • Nature
  • Amount
  • Economic Impact


These purposes tend to favor a judgment of fair use: Teaching, News Reporting, Parody, and Critical Comment.


The use of published, factual, and non-fictional works tends to favor a judgement of fair use.  The use of unpublished works or highly creative work (e.g.: art, music, novels, films, or plays) is not usually considered fair use.  Use of creative works requires special licensing or permission.


A use is usually considered fair when:

  1. the use represents a small part of the whole
  2. the use is not the central part (the heart) of the work

Economic Impact

A use is usually considered fair if the use does not affect the value of the original work in the marketplace.  Economic profit is only one consideration of impacted value.  Other considerations include:

  1. could the use replace the sale of the copyrighted work?
  2. was a reasonable license mechanism in place at the time of the use?
  3. was the use made accessible to the general public (ex: on the Internet)?
  4. was the use repeated?
  5. was the use a long term use?

Fair Use Checklist

The Fair Use Checklist and Legal Counsel will help you to determine if your intended use would be considered a fair use.


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.