Fair Use Information from the Digital Library and Archives at Virginia Tech's University Libraries

Before you use someone else's work without permission, consider ALL 4 of the FAIR USE FACTORS:

Purpose and character of use

  • Commercial or educational use
  • For profit or not
  • Degree of transformation; value added
  • For criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research

Nature of the copyrighted work

  • Character of the work (consider factual vs. fiction)
  • Worthy of (extensive) protection?

Amount, substantiality

  • Use only what's necessary
  • Quantity and quality in relation to the whole work


  • Harm to the market or potential market of a work after a portion has been used separately from the whole