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Copyright and Permissions: Fair Use

Welcome! This guide provides information and resources on copyright law in Lebanon and internationally. The guide emphasizes on how copyright law relates to academic activities such as research, teaching, and publishing.


Fair use is one major limitation on copyright. It uses an equity-based doctrine that allows a copyrighted work to be used in certain circumstances without requiring the copyright owner’s authorization and without constituting an infringement to Berne Convention. Fair Use in used in the US detailed in Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law,

*Lebanese Law uses Exceptions listing rather than the Fair Used rule.

Fair Use

Fair use recognizes that certain reproductions of copyright-protected works do not require permissions from copyright holders. Under this section fair use is determined by four factors:

  1. The purpose of the use (e.g. commercial vs. educational)
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work (e.g. factual vs. creative)
  3. The amount of the material used (the greater the amount copied, the less likely it is fair use)
  4. The effect of use on the potential market for, or value of, the work

Image credit: Figure 14.1. “Gauge Your Risk” stoplight model. Adapted from “Teaching Our Faculty: Developing Copyright and Scholarly Communication Outreach Programs,” by J. Duncan, S. K. Clement, and B. Rozum, 2013, in S.Davis-Kahl and M. K. Hensley 

Fair Use in Education

Copyright law provides a classroom exemption in Section 110(1) that allows instructors to display or show entire copyrighted works during the course of a face-to-face classroom session.