The fair use provision of the law (US Code Section 107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use) considers the use of a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research as fair use and not infringing copyright. In other words, copyright items that come under the fair use provision may be used without permission.
Four criteria commonly used to determine fair use are:
All four criteria must be considered before declaring that fair use applies. Educational purpose alone is not sufficient to qualify for fair use
Is the use for commercial purposes or nonprofit educational purposes? How will the material be used and by whom? Is the use for purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research? Works used for educational, nonprofit or personal purposes generally are covered by fair use. Works for commercial purpose do not qualify for fair use.
How creative is the work? The more creative the work the more likelihood that this factor weighs against fair use. A compilation of facts would be considered less creative than a work of fiction..
How much of the work will be used? The quantity (the amount copied) as well as the quality (the importance of the portion copied) must be considered. The likelihood of fair use is greater if the material used is a small portion of the total work and does not contain a substantial amount of the essence or principle elements of the work.
Will the use reduce sales and thus result in potential loss for the copyright owner.