American Society of Addiciton Medicine

Fair Use Guidelines


Fair Use Guidelines

Questions? Contact Us

What does not require permission?

U.S. Copyright Law exempts certain limited use of copyrighted works, referred to as "fair use" and such uses are permissible without a license or permissions agreement. The law requires that a good faith determination be made based on the balance of four factors: purpose and character of the use, nature of the copyrighted work, amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. These factors are subject to interpretation, and careful analysis is required. Consulting legal advisors is encouraged. When in doubt, please contact ASAM to discuss any questions related to permissions and fair use.

ASAM generally considers certain uses of, and references to, its copyrighted material in statutes, regulations, or policy documents of a government agency to fall within the Fair Use doctrine and to be permissible without a permission agreement; likewise, ASAM generally considers the use of ASAM’s trademarked name for purpose of reference and identification of the standard rather than to market a service or suggest an endorsement or sponsorship to be permissible without a permission agreement.  Similarly, limited uses by providers to reference their use of The ASAM Criteria for regulatory purposes and, to the extent necessary, to comply with the law may also qualify as fair use or as otherwise non-infringing.  For example, providers do not need a permission agreement to implement The ASAM Criteria or to certify their compliance with relevant state requirements.  However, a permission agreement is needed for any provider that wishes to publish or market their use of The ASAM Criteria, or to otherwise use The ASAM Criteria content or trademarks in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services.

ASAM also acknowledges uses for educational purposes to be within fair use and does not require a permissions agreement for such purposes. ASAM looks to existing copyright law to define an educational purpose to include material used in educational institutions and for educational purposes. Examples of educational institutions include K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. Libraries, museums, hospitals, and other nonprofit institutions and public entities also are considered educational institutions under most educational fair use guidelines when they engage in nonprofit instructional, research, or scholarly activities for educational purposes.

ASAM further defines educational purposes to include:

  • Noncommercial instruction or curriculum-based teaching by educators to students at nonprofit educational institutions,
  • Planned noncommercial study or investigation directed toward making a contribution to a field of knowledge, or
  • Presentation of research findings at noncommercial peer conferences, workshops, or seminars.
  • Basic introductory trainings to familiarize staff with the basic conceptual framework for The ASAM Criteria, ASAM multidimensional assessment, and/or ASAM levels of care.
  • Educational materials, presentations, and documents that describe the basic conceptual framework for The ASAM Criteria, ASAM multidimensional assessment, and/or ASAM levels of care.

    Training programs on The ASAM Criteria do not qualify for a fair use exception.

    As noted above, minimal use of the ASAM name and/or citations to the content may also qualify for a fair use exception. Unless an intended use falls within the narrow exceptions described in this response, a permission agreement is necessary.

    Uses that fall within the ASAM fair use guidelines still require the inclusion of a citation, such as the following:

    Mee-Lee D, Shulman GD, Fishman MJ, Gastfriend DR, Miller, eds. The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions. 3rd ed. Carson City, NV: The Change Companies; 2013. Copyright 2013 by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

    Waller RC, Boyle MP, Daviss SR, et al, eds. The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-occurring Conditions, Volume 1: Adults. 4th ed. Hazelden Publishing; 2023.


    When will ASAM deny permission?

    ASAM does not permit use of ASAM service marks or allow copyrighted material to be modified or adapted. Permission to use content that has been discontinued will not be granted. Requests deemed inconsistent with ASAM's mission will be denied.

    For questions, contact

    Permissions Fees

    Permissions fees are determined by the intended use, scale of distribution, and other factors. Permission is not granted until fees are paid in full and ASAM receives a completed permission agreement.