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Fair Use Defined

Hudson Valley Community College adheres to federal copyright law for the protection of its employees as both creators and users of copyright protected works.


To foster "the progress of science and the useful arts," the college supports the fair use for such purposes as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching scholarship or research and reproduction of copyrighted materials (including multiple copies for classroom or library use), for educational purposes as outlined in the federal Copyright Law (PL94-553).


To determine if a copyrighted work may be reproduced under the fair use doctrine, conduct the following analysis (all 4 factors must be weighed):

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether the use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;

2. The nature of the copyrighted work; (This second factor acknowledges that fact that some works are simply more deserving of copyright protection than others.)

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

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


Fair use guidelines are helpful but not law.  One must consult the above 4 factors and apply them to each set of circumstances.

U.S. Copyright Office on Fair Use