Fair Use vs. Public Domain

The following is a guest post by Nora Dethloff, assistant head of Information and Access Services, and Stephanie Lewin-Lane, coordinator of the Music Library, at the University of Houston Libraries. This week, we’ll feature posts by members of the UH Libraries Copyright Team highlighting Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2016.

Check to see if a work has entered the public domain using the Public Domain Slider.

Check to see if a work has entered the public domain using the Public Domain Slider.

What’s the difference between fair use and the public domain? Put simply, works in the public domain are those works not protected by copyright. This includes works that have aged out of copyright protection or those that never qualified for it. You can check to see if a work has entered the public domain using the Public Domain Slider.

In contrast, fair use allows us to use material still protected by copyright, but in limited ways. Fair use helps to safeguard our first amendment rights by allowing parody, reporting, criticism, scholarship, and other uses that involve limited portions of a copyrighted work.

Find more about fair use and the public domain at our Copyright Research Guide.

2 responses to “Fair Use vs. Public Domain”

  1. […] Nora Dethloff and Stephanie Lewin-Lane on University of Houston Libraries News blog, “Fair Use vs. Public Domain” […]

  2. […] Nora Dethloff and Stephanie Lewin-Lane on University of Houston Libraries News blog, “Fair Use vs. Public Domain” […]

Posted on February 25th, 2016 by Admin and filed under Announcements | 2 Comments »