Copyright Licensing Office Interactive Fair Use Guide (BETA)


Fair use can often be a frustrating quagmire. This tool was designed to help you make sense of the seemingly nonsensical exercise of a fair use analysis. The information provided by this tool is based on the research and data of Clark D. Asay, a Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, as set forth in his article, Is Transformative Use Eating the World?

As you progress through the Fair Use Guide, your responses are recorded and compared to the analysis of various courts in over 400 actual copyright cases. At the end of the Fair Use Guide, you will receive a level of confidence assessment based on the responses you provided. This level of confidence is not legal advice. The level of confidence simply analyzes your responses as compared to the reported case data, and indicates, based on the empirical data, how a court would likely find, if the court agreed with the representations you made in your responses.

Fair Use Guide is based on empirical data, and is provided as an educational guide, not legal advice. The Fair Use Guide does not substitute for a consultation with a legal and/or subject-matter expert. If you have questions or concerns about your use, we recommend that you seek legal advice.

    The Fair Use Guide IS designed to:
  • help you more fully understand the concept of fair use;
  • analyze your proposed use of copyrighted material;
  • provide guidance and confidence of your use determination based on empirical data; and
  • document your fair use analysis and decision.
    The Fair Use Guide is NOT designed to:
  • provide legal advice; or
  • predict the outcome/determination of a court.


Please enter the following data if you would like to maintain a record of your fair use analysis. Section 504(c)(2) of the U.S. Copyright Act provides protection for educators and librarians who “believed and had reasonable grounds for believing” that their use was fair. Recordkeeping may be critical to demonstrating your good faith efforts in asserting fair use.

Back Next

Classroom Guidelines

The following questions are designed to help you determine whether your use falls within the scope of the “Classroom Guidelines,” which are available in Circular 21 published by the United States Copyright Office. The Classroom Guidelines “state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use.” Copies made in accordance with the Classroom Guidelines qualify as fair use.

Back Next

Factor 1

The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

Back Next

Factor 2

The nature of the copyrighted work

The following questions are to assist in making this determination:

Back Next

Factor 3

The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

The following questions are to assist in making this determination:

Back Next

Factor 4

The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

The following questions are to assist in making this determination: