Fair Use Checklist
- Does the use infringe on exclusive rights protected by a valid copyright?
- Is the use of the work “commercial” or for nonprofit purposes, such as criticism, commentary, education, or reporting?
- Is the use “transformative”—that is, does the use impart some new expressive meaning by using the copyrighted material—or is the use a naked copy of the original?
- Does the use impact an existing market for the copyrighted material, or one likely to be exploited in the future?
- How readily available is the original work (that is, is it an out-of-print book or a current page from a website)?
- How much of the copyrighted material is being used?
- Is the use consistent with industry practices?
- Has the user acted in the good-faith belief that the use is fair, or has the user knowingly infringed?
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of 'fair use' would clearly apply to the situation. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.