Four Factors of Fair Use
Do You Know What's "Fair" Game?
Created by Karen Suarez
What is Copyright?
Did you know that you own any poem, story, drawing, artwork, or piece of music you’ve ever created? It doesn't matter if you are an adult, a professional, or a student in class. This ownership is called “copyright.” Copyright is a type of protection given to the creators of original work. This “original work” could be in different fields: literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic. And did you know as the owner of that work, you have rights about what to do with it? Your rights let you do any of the following or can prevent others from doing the following:
- Make copies of your work
- Distribute copies of your work
- Perform your work in public
- Disply your work in public
- Make changes to your work
However, your rights as the copyright owner are not unlimited. There are limitations on these rights so that your work can be shared, enjoyed, and even used for educational purposes. One such limitation is called “Fair Use.” This policy allows for people to use your copyrighted work without your permission…but don't worry about people unfairly stealing your work. There are four factors that must be met before your work can be considered “fair” game.