Under the “fair use” guidelines of copyright law, someone may make limited use of another person's work without asking permission. The doctrine of fair use has developed through many court decisions and has been outlined in section 107 of the copyright law. However, “fair use” is open to interpretation. Fair use is intended to support teaching, research, and scholarship.
Fair use can be determined by considering four factors:
Remember: using a work for academic purposes does not automatically render protection under fair use!
From the U.S. Copyright Office set of standards for Fair Use.