A New Tool To Help Figure Out Fair Use

The Copyright Management Office at OSU Health Sciences Library has developed a new, interactive, online version of the Fair Use Checklist. It is available for anyone to use.

The Fair Use Checklist  is designed to help you work through the four fair use factors in order to make a proper assessment.  This version of the checklist is interactive, allowing you to check the options that pertain to your desired use of a copyrighted work. Once you have completed the four sections of the checklist, you get a summary that shows you the overall picture of your analysis. This is a good way to consider the factors as a whole to see if your use may fall under fair use or not. It also gives you a record of your analysis which you could use to possibly defend against a future claim of infringement.  A copy of your checklist can be sent to you by email.

One great feature of this version of the fair use checklist is that it was designed specifically to work with mobile devices. You can access fair use help wherever and whenever you need to on a smart phone or tablet. It can be a useful educational tool to teach students how fair use works. It can be used in meetings when discussing possible projects in your department. You can also access the checklist when traveling to or attending conferences. Or you can get help making fair use decisions for your own scholarly or research projects in the comfort of your office or lab.

Using the checklist does not give you a definitive yes or no answer as to whether or not your intended use of a copyrighted work is fair use. What it does is help you to think through the four factors of fair use and make an educated assessment. It also gives you the opportunity to rethink your use if it appears that what you originally intended to do may not be fair use. You also have evidence that you considered the fair use factors before you used the material.

For information on fair use and other copyright related issues, take a look at the OSU Libraries’ Copyright Resources Center website.  For help with using the checklist or for any other copyright questions you may have, you can call us at 688-5849, email us at libcopyright@osu.edu or email the Copyright Management Office at OSU Health Sciences Library at copyright@osumc.edu.

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