Fair use allows certain uses of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder. There are four factors to consider when determining whether your use is a fair one. You must consider all the factors, but not all the factors have to favor fair use for the use to be fair.
The four fair use factors are
Fair use favors “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, [and] research.” While many uses for educational purposes are fair, not all are. You need to evaluate your use each time you are reproducing copyrighted material — to show in your class, to hand out copies, to include in your writing, or to post on your course website.
Fair use is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 107.
This report summarizes research into the current application of fair use to meet the missions of U.S. academic and research libraries. Sixty-five librarians were asked about their employment of fair use in five key areas of practice: support for teaching and learning, support for scholarship, preservation, exhibition and public outreach, and serving disabled communities.
Interviewees reported a strong commitment to obeying copyright law; rarely concerned about their own liability, librarians primarily felt responsible for ensuring their institutions were in compliance with the law. Practice varied considerably, from a rigid permissions culture to ample employment of fair use.
US copyright law permits teachers and students to make certain uses of copyrighted works in face-to-face teaching. As a teacher or student, you are allowed to perform or display a copyrighted work without permission in “a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction” during face-to-face teaching at a nonprofit educational institution.
If the work is a motion picture or other audiovisual work, you must use a copy of the work that was lawfully made.
This is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 110(1).
US copyright law gives teachers the right to use works for distance learning without permission under certain circumstances.
and the copyrighted work
and your use is:
and your institution
then US copyright law permits your use.
This provision, which is sometimes called the TEACH Act, is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 110(2).