Welcome to the NEW Buswell Library website! Feel free to visit our legacy site or give us feedback on our new site.

Checklist for Fair Use

Modified from Carrie Russell, Complete Copyright: An Everyday Guide for Librarians (American Library Association, 2004). Used by permission.

See chapter 7 of this guide, "The Fair Use Exemption," for assistance in interpreting this checklist.

Fair Use more likelyFair Use less likely


Teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use)

Research or scholarship

Nonprofit educational institution

Criticism or comment

News reporting


Transformative or productive uses (changes the work for new utility)

Restricted access (to students or other appropriate group)

Commercial activity

Profiting from the use


Bad-faith behavior

Denying credit to original author


Published work

Factual or nonfiction based

Important to favored educational objectives

Unpublished work

Highly creative work (art, music, novels, films, plays)



Small quantity

Portion used is not central or significant to entire work

Amount is appropriate to favored educational purpose

Large portion or whole work used

Portion used is central to work or the "heart of the work"


User owns lawfully acquired or purchased copy of original work

One or few copies made

No significant effect on the market or potential market for copyrighted work

No similar product marketed by the copyright holder

Lack of licensing mechanism

Could replace sale of work

Significantly impairs market or potential market for work or derivative

Reasonably available licensing mechanism

Affordable permission available for using work

Numerous copies made

You made it accessible on the Web or in other public forum

Repeated or long term use

Table of Contents | Chapter 7 | Chapter 9