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Copyright policy

 Fair Use Checklist

 Instructions: The  Fair Use Checklist is a tool to assist you in making a reasoned and balanced application of the four fair use factors in determining whether a given use of a work is a fair use.  The checklist outlines various factual circumstances that are important to the evaluation of a contemplated fair use.

 As you use the checklist and apply it to your proposed use, you are likely to check more than one box in each column and even check boxes across columns.  Some checked boxes will favor fair use and others will weigh against fair use.  The ultimate concern is whether the cumulative weight of the factors weighs in favor of fair use or weighs against fair use. Because you are most familiar with your project, you are probably best positioned to make that decision.

 Where the factors favoring fair use outnumber those against it, reliance on fair use is justified. Where fewer than half the factors favor fair use, instructors should seek permission from the rights holder. Where the factors are evenly split, instructors should consider the total facts weighing in favor of fair use as opposed to the total facts weighing against fair use in deciding whether fair use is justified. Not all of the facts will be present in any given situation. Check only those facts that apply to your use. No single item or factor is determinative of fair use.  For more information regarding the fair use factors, please see the Samford University Copyright Policy. 

 Complete and retain a copy of this checklist for each “fair use” of a copyrighted work in order to establish a “reasonable and good faith” attempt at applying fair use should any dispute regarding such use arise. 

Additional information can be found on the Library libguide on Copyright.


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