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Archives: Fair Use

The College Archives is the repository for non-current Hampshire College records having permanent, historical, legal, fiscal, or administrative value. The archives also holds Div IIIs as well as professional and personal papers of some faculty and alumni.

Fair Use


Fair use is a statutory exception to the copyright holder's bundle of exclusive rights. It allows for the unlicensed (that is, without permission or payment of royalty) use of a copyrighted work where the balance of several factors weighs in favor of such use. 

The four statutory factors of fair use are:

  1. The purpose and character of the proposed use
  2. The nature of the work being used
  3. The amount of the work being used
  4. The effect of the use upon the market for the copyrighted work

Examples of fair use in U.S. copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, news reporting, parody, research, and scholarship.

Several factual inquiries drive analysis of each of the four factors. Several libraries have also created excellent guides to understanding and applying the four factors: