Fair Use Guidelines for Educators

What are the fair use guidelines for educators? According to Wikipedia, fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review.

Although I am not a copyright expert and the content of this page should not be considered legal advice, I want to raise teachers’ awareness when it comes to the vast domain of intellectual property. Copyright protects original works such as literary works, movies, music, computer software, and so much more.

A popular misconception among educators is the idea that if a copyrighted material is used only for educational purposes, it falls under the fair use category. Wrong! For instance, it is not considered fair use to make copies of an entire book for classroom use.

There are four guidelines in determining if a use is fair or not:

•The purpose and character of the use
•The nature of the work
•The amount of the work that was used in comparison to the entire work
•The effect of the use on the potential income

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