Guidelines for Using Copyrighted Materials in Course Packs

There is no such thing as a "fair use course anthology." Fair use applies to individual articles or book chapters. The fair use factors must be weighed for each reading. You may want to refer to the U.S. Copyright Office's Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians (Circular 21) for more specific information.

George Mason University applies the fair use factors on a case-by-case basis. Please refer to the University Libraries' Copyright Resources Office homepage for links to Title 17, U.S. Code, §107.

Fair use is a complex and often confusing concept. Use this worksheet, created by the Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office, to determine whether your use is a fair one or not (Fair use-checklist). Consider each of the four fair use factors and weigh them equally: 1) What is the PURPOSE of your use? 2) What is the NATURE of the work to be copied? 3) What is the AMOUNT of the work you wish to use in relation to the work as a whole? and 4) What is the EFFECT of your use on the market for or value of the work as a whole?

When a proposed use of any copyrighted work appears to go beyond fair use limitations, the Course Materials Copyright Assistance Staff will seek the required clearances for educational use, as well as calculate any applicable royalty fees for student purchase.

In addition, for a use to be considered fair, a complete citation must be included on the first page of each item. Public Domain sources must also be correctly attributed.

Please contact the Print Services Course Materials Office, or 993-3158, for additional information regarding course packs.