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Treat and apply information ethically: Fair use

Module 5: How will I use the information?


Fair use

Copyright law also protects individuals wanting to reproduce parts of a work for nonprofit purposes.  Using a small portion of a work for scholarship or criticism is generally seen as fair use and does not require getting permission from the copyright holder.  Whether use of a work is considered fair depends on

  • the nature of the original work
  • how the copy is to be used
  • what portion of the original is copied
  • the possible effect reproducing the work will have on the value of or market for the work

If you photocopy a few measures of music to include in your paper, that's fair use. However, if you make enough copies of the sheet music to give to everyone in the school choir, you are stealing income the publisher should have received from the sale of multiple copies and you have violated copyright.

Copyright laws are complicated and fair use is not always clear-cut.  It’s better to err on the side of caution than to face a copyright infringement suit. 



Creative Commons License

This contents of the Online IamInfoSMART may be reused with attribution. Please copy the following into new works based on the IamInfoSMART. The Online IamInfoSMART bthe DLSU Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported LicenseBased on a work at guides.library.uwm.eduPot of Gold Information Literacy TutorialTutorial for Info PowerUC Santa Cruz University Library.