Fair Use of copyrighted material

Steve Simon


I get many requests to link to my web pages, and I always grant these requests. Other people ask if they can use portions of my material on their web pages or in their publications. If these people don’t charge others for this material, I usually agree, but I like to know a few more details. If there is money involved, I tend to be more cautious.

Of course, the copyright law allows you some rights to reproduce materials on my web site (or any other copyrighted source) under the “Fair Use” provisions of the copyright law.

Fair use is a rather gray area in copyright law, but typically looks at the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount of material in relation to the work as a whole, and the effect of the use on potential market value for the original author.

If your use of my materials qualifies under the “Fair Use” provisions, you don’t need to seek my permission. It would be nice, of course, if you let me know that you are using my material, as it gives me something to show my boss as evidence of the value of the web pages that I have written.

Further reading

You can find an earlier version of this page on my original website.