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Guidelines for Fair Use in Education

Academic librarians, including those at the University of Washington, recommend considering the four factors of Fair Use when advising on how to incorporate copyright protected materials into the classroom, whether live or virtual.

The UW Library’s guidance on Fair Use includes self-check and evaluation tools to help you think about fair use in your particular situation.

Fair Use analyses apply to books and periodicals, music, images, and multimedia. Please note, however, that uses of materials accessed through licensed databases and streaming services are governed by contractual agreements, which may have terms that are stricter than U.S. copyright law.

The TEACH Act gives detailed guidance for non-infringing uses of materials in distance education. Yet because of the law’s strict requirements, practitioners stress fair use, which is more flexible.