The Copyright Law is very clear in retaining specific rights for the producer of intellectual property. These are given in Section 106 of the Copyright Law: Exclusive rights in copyrighted works. The owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

  1. to reproduce the copyrighted work;
  2. to prepare derivative works;
  3. to distribute copies;
  4. to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
  5. to display the copyrighted work publicly;

For graphic works, there may be moral rights involved.

Regardless of exclusive rights, Congress, through the Copyright Law of the United States, has given educators a limited "right" to reproduce information in certain circumstances. This limited right to reproduce a copyrighted work is called fair use.

Fair use is a legislated privilege.

Four very broad factors are given in the Law that must be considered when claiming fair use. These are set out in "Section 107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use."

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and,
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

It is the responsibility of University Copyright Center in the library to assist you with your fair use concerns.