Fair Use Checklist

Below is a checklist that will help you determine whether your use of a work might be protected under the concept of fair use. This checklist will provide you with a record of your decision-making process. It is recommended that the completed checklist be retained as evidence of your fair use analysis. It should be noted that Section 504 (c)(2) of the Copyright Act of 1976 offers legal protection to educators and librarians who have used copyrighted material based upon a good-faith analysis of the fair use factors.

I. What is the purpose of the use?

Favors fair use

[ ] Educational use
[ ] Not-for-profit use
[ ] Transformative use
[ ] Parody

Does not favor fair use

[ ] Commercial use
[ ] For-profit use
[ ] Non-transformative use, verbatim copy

II. What is the nature of the copyrighted work?

Favors fair use

[ ] Factual or non-fiction content
[ ] Published work

Does not favor fair use

[ ] Creative or artistic content
[ ] Consumable work (e.g. textbooks)
[ ] Unpublished work

III. What is the amount or substantiality of the item used?

Favors fair use

[ ] Small quantity being used
[ ] Portion is not ‘heart of the work’
[ ] Amount used is appropriate for educational purposes

Does not favor fair use

[ ] Large quantity or entier work being used
[ ] Portion used is ‘heart of the work’
[ ] Amount used is more than is necessary for educational purposes

IV. What effect will the use have on the potential market for the work?

Favors fair use

[ ] No significant effect on market or potential market for the work
[ ] Single or limited number of copies made
[ ] Access limited to small group (e.g. a class)
[ ] One-time and/or spontaneous use

Does not favor fair use

[ ] Copying will replace purchase of work
[ ] Wide distribution of multiple copies
[ ] Made publicly available or access unrestricted
[ ] Repeated or long-term use

Adapted from Cornell University’s Checklist for Conducting a Fair Use Analysis Before Using Copyrighted Materials and North Carolina State University’s Fair Use Checklist.