Copyright and Your WPI Project

Fair Use

Fair Use is a defense to an allegation of infringement under the U.S. Copyright Law that permits limited use of portions of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Section 107 of the Copyright Act establishes four basic factors to be considered in deciding whether a use constitutes a fair use. These factors are:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit, educational purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

If after weighing your use of copyrighted materials against the four Fair Use factors you feel that you have a legitimate defense against a copyright infringment allegation, make sure you keep the documentation in your records for future reference.

Helpful websites about Fair Use: