U.S. copyright law allows for some use of copyrighted materials for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. This is called the Fair Use exemption. The following tutorial provides guidelines to use in determining if use of a copyrighted work is considered fair use.
Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials (University of Texas)
Copyright protection applies to:any "original work of authorship" that is "fixed in any tangible medium of expression." Protection automatically extends to any qualifying work, whether published or not, and whether created in the U.S. or in almost any country.
Copyright protection does not apply to: