Section 107 of the United States Copyright Law says the following:
§107 · Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include— (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
This checklist created by Kenneth D. Crews of Columbia University and Dwayne K. Buttler of the University of Louisville can help one clarify their thinking about whether a particular item and its usage would fall under fair use. Please know that there are no decisive answers to be found in the checklist. Rather, this should be an exercise in thinking about the validity of any one use.
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