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Policy on Fair Use of Copyrighted Works For Education and Research

Drury University is dedicated to the creation, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge to serve the public good. It is therefore committed to full compliance with the spirit and the letter of copyright legislation, which is designed to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution). To this end, Drury encourages its faculty and staff to respect the legitimate rights of copyright holders while exercising to the fullest the rights accorded them under the "fair use" provisions of federal law.

In accomplishing these purposes, Drury University works to facilitate the exercise in good faith of fair use rights by its faculty and staff in furthering their research, teaching, and service activities. The university shall:

  1. Provide informational and educational support to faculty and staff in understanding their fair use rights through application of the four factors set forth in 17 U.S.C. Section 107, which is discussed in the Supporting Principles of the Drury University Policy on Fair use of Copyrighted Materials;
  2. Create a copyright page on the university Web site that incorporates both locally developed materials and links to appropriate external Web documents to assist faculty and staff in making good faith decisions on fair use;
  3. Where possible, avoid adopting or supporting policies, licensing arrangements, or other agreements that would restrict fair use rights; and
  4. Support faculty and staff who may be challenged legally over their analysis and application of the four factors in making a fair use decision.

To understand better the philosophy underlying Drury University's fair use policy, one should consult the following document.

Supporting Principles of the Drury University Policy on Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials

An important aspect of copyright and fair use relates to materials placed on electronic reserves/course pages. For a summary of Drury University guidelines in this regard, see:

Drury University Guidelines on Use of Copyrighted Materials for Electronic Reserves and Course Pages

The four factor fair use analysis is a subjective one. There is not one determinative factor; rather, each factor is weighed and balanced. Because application of fair use must be done on a case-by-case basis where reasonable people may disagree on how to interpret the material facts in specific cases, which can vary greatly, Drury University can only provide guidance to its faculty and staff in understanding copyright and fair use. The following Web sites are particularly useful in understanding the legal principles involved and the current state of statutory and case law dealing with this area. They also provide some common scenarios that faculty might consult to obtain guidance in making fair use analyses.