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Summaries of Fair Use Cases – Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University


Court decisions regarding the question of fair use can provide insight in applying Fair Use to specific situations. Although there are not many cases directly related to the university community, the following summaries will offer some helpful understanding. These case summaries are authored by Dr. Kenneth H. Crews, Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University. The structure of the four factors in Section 107 (Fair Use) of the Copyright Act, is followed:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.