Q. Why do I need fair use for my teaching? Aren't there exemptions from copyright law specifically for teaching?
It’s true that the law includes specific exceptions that benefit teachers and their students. In particular, Section 110 gives teachers special rights to use some works in the classroom and online without asking permission. These provisions can be extraordinarily helpful where they apply, and they apply in some very important situations. They do not cover every situation, however. Indeed, critics have long argued that these specific exceptions are too limited and do not adequately serve the needs of their intended beneficiaries. Fair use is a broad, general, flexible doctrine that can fill important gaps in these specific exceptions, enabling important activities that might fall just beyond the limits of other exceptions. Fair use also allows for important new technological uses that could not have been foreseen by the drafters of the Copyright Act, such as Internet search.