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Fair Use is a copyright principle that allows "users of information" to be able to utilize intellectual property while still enabling the creator to be able to own and profit from their work.  If you are making use of an intellectual work for any of the following reasons then you are more than likely falling under the fair use principle of copyright.

These reasons include: criticism, comment, news reporting, parody, teaching, scholarship and research.

What counts as “fair use” of something depends on these four main factors:

  1. The Purpose and Character of Use: How are you using the work? Have you transformed the original work by adding new expression or meaning?
  2. The Nature of the Copyrighted Work: Is the original work factual or creative? Is it unpublished or published? Different factors about the original work will have an effect on fair use.
  3. The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used: How much of the original work are you quoting, summarizing or using?  And, of the portion that you are using - how much of the “substantial” idea of the work are you using?
  4. The Effect of the Use on the Original Work in the Market: Does the way you use the work deprive the copyright owner of income? Or does it undermine a new or potential market for the original work?