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Four principles of fair use

The purpose or character of the use: is your use non-profit, educational, personal, commercial?

The nature of the work being used: is your use published, unpublished, factual or creative?

The amount of the work being used: what percentage of the work are you using, is it central and essential?

The impact of use on the market: will your use diminish the market for the original?

Each of these factors plays a role in determining whether or not you may claim fair use.  For more information on applying the four factors of fair use see this Minnesota State Fair Use Checklist.


Faculty are required to comply with the Fair Use guidelines and the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

How the library can help:
Library staff can help you determine if you need to request copyright permission for something you wish to use in class, and can assist you with obtaining permission to use copyrighted materials for classroom purposes. To obtain copyright permission, complete this request form.  Questions? Contact

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