Codified in § 107 of U.S. copyright law, fair use is the acknowledgement that sometimes society is better served by allowing people to use copyrighted materials without going through the process of obtaining permission. Favored uses specifically mentioned in the statute include "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research," but this list is non-exhaustive: any use passing the "four-factor fair use test" can be considered "fair."
How does fair use work?
§ 107 states: "In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
How do I apply the Four Factors?
This guide does not constitute legal advice. If you have legal questions, please contact a lawyer.