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Fair Use

Legislation in support of fair use has been considered by the US Congress for many years. These bills sought to ensure the vitality of fair use in the digital environment. Each day teachers teach, students learn, researchers advance knowledge, and consumers access copyrighted information due to exemptions in the Copyright Act such as fair use. Fair use permits the use of copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. For libraries, educational institutions, and the public, the Fair Use Doctrine is the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright owner—the “safety valve” of US copyright law.