A critical feature of copyright law is fair use. It can be defined as a flexible user’s right that allows the use of copyrighted works without permission.
Fair Use Provision factors:
- Purpose and character of the use.
- Nature of the work – factual or creative? Published or unpublished? (Not weighted as heavily as the other factors in fair use judgments in the courts)
- Amount and substantiality. This is situation-specific and flexible; a single use may be for as long as it reproduces what is reasonable to serve the purpose.
- Effect on the potential market for, or value of, the work.
“Principle: It is fair use to make appropriately tailored course-related content available to enrolled students via digital network,” (ARL, Code of Best Practices…, p. 14).
- Brief excerpt only
- Available for duration of course
- Available only to eligible students and instructor(s)
- Connection between pedagogical purpose and type/amount of content
- Full attribution in a form satisfactory to scholars in the field
“While fair use is absolutely appropriate to support the heightened demands presented by this emergency, [COVID-19 crisis], campuses will need to investigate and adopt solutions tailored for the long-term.” (“Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research,” March 13, 2020, p. 3).