Carroll Community College recognizes and supports the full enforcement of copyright laws for the protection of intellectual property rights. All College faculty, staff, and students are expected to comply with federal laws regarding the use of copyright protected materials. As an institution of higher learning, Carroll Community College supports the fair use exemption, whereby copyrighted materials may be legally used and reproduced for the purposes of criticism, commentary, teaching, scholarship, and research as noted in the federal copyright law (17 U.S.C. 107).
Fair Use as defined by the federal copyright law (17 U.S.C. 107) outlines the various purposes for which a reproduction of a particular work (in any format) may be considered "fair," such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 of the law sets out four factors listed below which are to be considered in determining fair use. Generally, fair use is seen as a flexible doctrine meant to balance the promotion of innovation, progress, teaching, scholarship, and research with the copyright protections.
The courts have identified "transformative" uses as favoring fair use. Transformative uses include secondary uses "that are innovative, add value, produce new meaning, or repurpose the original work" (Russell 40). Educational uses are frequently determined to be transformative.
A useful framework for analyzing a copyright problem may be used if one has a question about fair use. Contact a librarian if you need assistance with this analysis.
All four of the following factors must be considered in determining fair use. No single factor alone can be determined to be a "bright line" rule which leaves little or no room for varying interpretations.
Russell, Carrie. Complete Copyright for K-12 Librarians and Educators. Chicago: American Library Association, 2012. Print.