Alongside the Association of Research Libraries, we’re celebrating Fair Use as February winds down! Fair Use is an extremely important aspect of copyright doctrine — the exceptions to the rules that enable use of material in certain circumstances, such as in a classroom setting. According to Jessica Aiwuyor at ARL, “[Fair Use] facilitate[s] balance in copyright law, promoting further progress and accommodating freedom of speech and expression.”

Last fall, we started talking more about using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in the classroom environment. Fair Use doctrine falls into this realm as well, but Fair Use comes into play when you want to reuse copyrighted material rather than open access material, material in the public domain, or material that is encouraged to be remixed and reused (such as through a Creative Commons license). Tufts University Libraries offers resources to help you better understand whether you’re using copyrighted material appropriately under Fair Use on their OER & Fair Use Library Guide.

If you’re unsure whether you benefit from Fair Use on any given day, check out the 2018 infographic, Fair Use in a Day in the Life of a College Student.