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Public Sociology - SOC3325: Attribution

Fair Use

Fair Use Guidelines

There are four standards that you must consider when deciding whether fair use protects your use of a copyrighted work. You can use the acronym PANE to help you remember them:

A sliding scale depicting the four fair use guidelines

  • Purpose and character of the use
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion used
  • Nature of the copyrighted work
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market

Keep in mind that fair use is a subjective legal issue; that is, opinions may vary on whether your use of a copyrighted work is “fair.” Think of each of these guidelines on its own sliding scale, as in the image below (adapted from University of Minnesota Libraries, 2011):


Creative Commons

What are Creative Commons licenses? - WUR

  • A nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity.
  • Easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple way to give the public permission to use creative works.
  • Easily changes copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”
  • Not an alternative to copyright.  They work alongside copyright.
  • No warranties are given.  The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary (publicity, privacy, moral rights*, etc.) 



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