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Copyright Compliance in Mayo Student Coursework and Staff-Development: Step 2: Fair Use Balance Test

To assist Education Staff and Faculty avoid copyright infringement in their support of Mayo's Education mission.

Step 2: Does Fair Use apply?

If none of the categories in Step 1 apply, then use a "Fair Use" balance test.  "Fair Use" enables educators to use copyrighted materials without permission but only after a balance test clearly points to a "Fair Use outcome".  The balance test helps determine if the copyright holder will be financially or otherwise harmed by your use. If the balance test tips in favor of "Fair Use" then permission is not needed.   One way of establishing due diligence is to use a Balance Test to determine if Fair Use or Need for Permission applies.


For the purposes of this form "public" means audiences outside of Mayo Clinic classrooms and staff-development sessions.  "Public use" will favor asking for permissons.


When you have completed this form,  determine if the checkmarks you have made tip the balance toward "Fair Use" or toward "Asking Permission".  If you determine that the balance tips in favor of Fair Use, be sure to use the material only in the way intended in the Balance Test.   Save your completed worksheet in case of legal questions in the future.   


Note:By its design, Fair Use is a matter of prudence and there are few clear "right" or "wrong" answers.  However, keeping documentation of your Due Diligence and prudence is highly recommended. Educators must record their due diligence after determining that permission is not needed to reuse copyrighted materials. 

If the Balance Test tips in favor of Getting Permission, then go to Step 3: Getting Permission


When Fair Use Applies...

 When Fair Use applies

  • You may make one print copy of an article or a book chapter for each Mayo Clinic student or employee,  but only one time.   The next time the course is taught, permission will be needed to provide the same article.