The doctrine of fair use allows limited copying of creative works based on the rationale that copyright holders would consent to such uses if bargaining were possible. This paper develops a formal model of fair use in an effort to derive the efficient legal standard for applying the doctrine. The model interprets copies and originals as differentiated products and defines fair use as a threshold separating permissible copying from infringement. The analysis highlights the role of technology in shaping the efficient standard. Discussion of several key cases illustrates the applicability of the model.