United States Copyright Law, Title 17 of the United States Code protects most intellectual property. It gives the copyright owner exclusive rights to restrict the use of their work by others. Fair use provisions of the law grant limited exemptions for educational purposes. The following four factors, which must be weighed equally, help determine whether copyrighted material may be used within an educational setting, including course management systems:
1 – The purpose and character of the use
2 – The nature of the work itself
3 – The amount to be used
4 – The effect of the use on the potential market of the work.
For a broader explanation of these factors, please consult More Information on Fair Use on the U.S. Copyright website.