10 Fair Use

Fair use is a legal right that defines conditions under which members of the public may legally use copyrighted work without first contacting the copyright owner. Fair use is evaluated on four factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the use
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount used in relation to the whole
  4. The effect on the use on the market

Teaching, research, and scholarship favor fair use, as does using a small portion of the work. Commercial ventures and replacing the sale of copyrighted work oppose fair use. Authors who rely on fair use can do so in good faith by following standards established for their discipline and/or for types of work, such as those provided by the Center for Media & Social Impact.

A Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Educational Resources was published in February 2021 to provide guidance on using fair use in the creation of OER.

Fair Use and OER

OER authors are required to consult with Mavs Open Press to determine if a portion of a work that isn’t openly licensed can be included in your OER under fair use. A fair use checklist must be completed by the author for each item used under fair use. Completed checklists should be submitted to UTA Libraries by emailing oer@uta.edu. Additionally, copyrighted material must be attributed in the text along with a fair use acknowledgment.

This work contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. The creators of this OER believe in good faith that reuse of these materials constitutes a “fair use” as described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Downstream users who wish to use copyrighted material from this resource for purposes beyond those authorized by the fair use doctrine should obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) of the original content.

Unless noted below, all text and figures used in the text are the intellectual property of the content creators and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


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A Guide to OER Creation with Mavs Open Press Copyright © 2021 by Mavs Open Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.