Copyright guarantees rights to owner of a work, including
commercial gain, but copyright works can be used under Fair Use.
Fair Use, section 107 of the copyright law, allows for criticism,
comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research.
The four factor test is used to determine fair use:
- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such
use is of commercial nature or is for non-profit educational
- The nature of the copyright work;
- Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to
the copyright work as a whole; and
- The effect of the use upon the potential market or value of the
Each fair use case must be reviewed independently. To assist in
your fair use review, UB libraries maintains a Copyright
and Fair Use website.
The University of Texas also has a lengthy
summary of how Fair Use applies to higher education and
provides a lot of advice on how to approach the use of copyrighted
If you receive a copyright infringement notice or a letter from
a lawyer, contact your IT chair and seek legal
Downloading commercially available music and sharing it on a P2P
Quoting passages from a book in a report for a class