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Faculty Services

Copyright Guidance from CSUB and the CSU

Fair Use Resources

There are four factors to consider when applying Fair Use:

  • The purpose for or type of use
  • The format and creative nature of the work
  • The quantity of the work being used
  • How the use of the work affects the market for acquiring the work

We often use copyrighted materials in research and instruction. We attribute the work to the author in order to avoid plagiarism, but that is not the same as Fair Use.

Fair Use protects the use of copyrighted works within limited margins. It is recommended that you only use as much of the work as is absolutely needed for instruction, limit access only to the students enrolled in the current class, and do not circumvent the market or any technological protections of a work.

Determining Copyright Status

Most modern works (books, films, journals) have the copyright status and date clearly labeled on the item. Other formats, like music, photographs, paintings, etc. are less likely to be clearly labeled with their copyright status or date. In addition, when it comes to performances, the copyright of those often differs from the copyright holder, status, and date of the work being performed.

If you have questions about whether or not something is under copyright, you can contact librarians Chris Livingston or Amanda Grombly for assistance.

The following resources might also assist you in determining the copyright status of an item.