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Open Educational Resources (OER): Fair Use & Copyright

Understanding Fair Use


Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law:

“Fair use is a statutory exception to the copyright holder's bundle of exclusive rights. It allows for the unlicensed (that is, without permission or payment of royalty) use of a copyrighted work where the balance of several factors weighs in favor of such use.”

The four statutory factors of fair use are:

The purpose and character of the proposed use
The nature of the work being used
The amount of the work being used
The effect of the use upon the market for the copyrighted work

Understanding Copyright



"The exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work."

Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Title 17 of the United States Code.
Protects authors of original work, including literary, dramatic, music, artistic and other works.
The author of a work has sole right to control how the work is used.
Includes things like literature, music, dramatic work, dance, art, sculptures, film, sound, architecture, software.