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Copyright Basics for Educators and Students

This guide provides basic information about copyright, fair use, and educational exemptions in copyright law. Use the tabs to find additional copyright resources.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is an exception to the rights of copyright owners, allowing the public to make limited uses of a protected work.

It can be defined as a limited right to use a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's consent - often under confined circumstances - for purposes such as: 

  • education
  • research
  • news reporting
  • criticism
  • commentary

Fair use is essentially a balancing act, against the growing area of protections that copyright law grants to owners.


Crews, K. (2020) Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions (4th edition). ALA Editions, Chicago. p. 95.