Section 107 of the Copyright Act limits the exclusive rights of copyright holders by allowing others to use copyrighted work (in most cases a portion of that work) for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. There are four factors that need to be considered when evaluating whether a particular use is fair under this doctrine. It is generally understood that these factors are seen as guidelines and not exact rules; they are considered the minimum and not the maximum standards of fair use in an educational environment. The factors are listed below along with some interpretation about their application.
U.S. Copyright Office (December 2016). "Subject Matter and Scope of Copyright. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use," in Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code (chapter 1, section 107). Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
U.S. Copyright Office (January 2017). "More Information on Fair Use," in U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html
U.S. Copyright Office (August 2014). Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf
The four factors listed above are intended to be guidelines (not precise rules or law) for the application of Fair Use. This means that there is intended to be flexibility in how they are applied. Keep this in mind as you use the tools below to apply fair use guidelines to your situation. Rather than looking at whether your instruction follows fair use, It may be more useful to think about how you can shape your instruction to strengthen your justification that it fits fair use.