Fair use is a statutory right in the United States that allows us to use works protected by copyright without requesting permission or paying licenses.
Four factors are considered in all fair use evaluations:
The four factors don't have equal weight. The fourth factor carries more weight than the others. The first factor can be a deciding factor if the use is "transformative" which means that the use gives the work new meaning.
The fair use checklist is an tool that allows you to determine whether a particular use of a work may constitute a "fair" use under copyright law.
Under the right to Fair Use, you can use someone else's work without asking permission.
Best practice for distributing copies:
Best practice for online sources:
The Fair Use App
Ever wonder when you can reuse music, photo, or film clips from other sources? Find out with New Media Rights' interactive Fair Use App.
Blog post by New Media Rights explaining fair use and giving examples