The fair use statute offers general guidance and requires
that the faculty member use a weighing and balancing test to
determine the likelihood that a particular use will be fair. As a
result, it tends to be subjective and open to differing
opinions as to the results in any case. This makes some people a bit nervous,
because it's not "for sure." Still, it is not that difficult to do, and
faculty members should learn to use it. We offer guidance to get you started
in Using the Four Factor Fair Use Test.
Before using the fair use test, the faculty member may wish to see whether
a particular proposed use might fit within our Rules of
Thumb for Multimedia. These are a set of guidelines that suggest safe
amounts of others' works to include. If
her use does not fit within the Rules of Thumb, that does not mean she
can't use the materials. Instead, she should proceed with the fair use
test. The Rules of Thumb describe a certain subset
of the whole of fair use that many people regard as pretty safe, but, they are not the limit of fair use.