Even after you've fully educated yourself about fair use (the information on our site is just a start), it can be difficult to remember all the relevant issues when you're looking at a potential use you'd like to make. We've developed one tool that may assist you in your thought process. The Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association also steps you through the process with a similar interactive tool.
Fair use is very context-dependent, so each user has to assess fair use independently, for each use. You may find it helpful to consult with an attorney or another specialist for further input. This form does not substitute for such consultation.
This tool can help you organize your thoughts around the issues, although it does NOT tell you whether a proposed use is fair or not, and does NOT provide any kind of legal advice. It simply helps you structure your own reflections about the fair use factors, and provides a record that you did consider relevant issues. No computer processes your form - the end result is only a printable record of what you entered.
Remember that no single factor is decisive of fair use, and on any given factor, you may find that some aspects of your proposed use fall in the "favor fair use" column, while others simultaneously "weigh against" fair use. There also may be other relevant considerations that do not appear in this general-purpose tool! Many considerations are relevant, and only by looking at the whole picture, across all the issues, can you make a reasonable guess about whether your use is fair or not.
Many elements of this tool adapted with permission from the Columbia University Libraries Copyright Advisory Office Fair Use Checklist
Due to DDoS attacks through the interactive form version of this document, we've had to remove the interactive elements with this form. The details you enter into the form will be temporarily displayed on the screen, but will probably not appear if you "save" the webpage, and you will -not- receive an emailed copy of your details. You may want to take a screenshot, or just print off the empty page and fill it out offline!
Name/title of document or item to be used
Notes: Enter additional thoughts regarding the purpose of your proposed use.
Overall thoughts on your purpose
Notes: Enter additional thoughts regarding the nature of the work you'd like to use.
Overall thoughts on the nature of the original
Notes: Enter additional thoughts regarding the amount and substantiality of your proposed use..
Overall thoughts on the amount and substantiality of your use
Notes: Enter additional thoughts regarding the market effect of your proposed use.
Overall thoughts about the effect of your use on the market for the original
For your personal use. No copy is retained here. (We've had to remove some of the previous interactive elements of this form. It does not email you a copy anymore. Even if you type in these boxes, it will not be saved, nor will you receive a copy unless you save it or take a screenshot. You may want to print off the page and fill it out offline.)
Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.