Fair use is an exception to the exclusive rights of copyright holders. As with most things related to copyright law, fair use is complicated, and there's no simple test to determine if a use is fair use. However, if you're familiar with the four statutory factors and the idea of transformativeness, you'll be able to make a well-informed, reasonable guess. We also recommend consulting with the library regarding fair use.
The Four Statutory Factors
No one of these factors is decisive. You have to consider all of them to make your best guess if something is fair use or not.
1. Purpose and Character of the Use
This factor relates to who is using the source and why. Generally speaking, education, scholarship, research, news reporting, criticism, and commentary favor fair use. Commercial and for-profit purposes are generally not fair use.
2. Nature of the Original Work
Generally speaking, borrowing from a factual work is more likely to be considered fair than borrowing from a creative work. This is because copyright does not protect facts and data.
3. Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used
Generally speaking, using a smaller amount of the source work is more likely to be fair use than using a larger amount. But remember that this amount is proportional, so two pages of an eight page essay is less likely to be considered fair use than two pages of a three-hundred page book. Substantiality is asking whether you're using something from the heart of the work, or something more peripheral. Generally speaking, the more peripheral the content, the more likely it is to be considered fair use.
4. Effect of the Use on the Potential Market For or Value of the Source Work
One simple way to think about this factor is to ask, is the use substituting for a sale the author would otherwise make? Though it is possible for a use to be fair even when causing market harm, the courts traditionally favor copyright holders where markets exist or are developing.
Derivative works are considered transformative if they use a source work in completely new or unexpected ways. Parodies, new technologies, audio and video mixes and remixes have all been determined to be fair use by the courts.
(Information paraphrased from University of Minnesota Libraries' Copyright Services page: https://www.lib.umn.edu/copyright/fairuse)
Faculty members who want to upload copyrighted materials on Blackboard for student use should follow the following guidelines.