Copyright and Fair Use
Being in an education setting, we are given a fair amount of leniency when it comes to Fair Use. Fair Use is a part of copyright law that allows copyrighted works to be utilized in certain situations without needing to pay the copyright owner. The three major factors teachers should be looking at when it comes to fair use are the following:
1. Did I use the whole or part of the work?
- Using short movie clips that are seconds long in a mash-up before a unit would be Fair Use
- Using a complete popular song you give out on a DVD to parents for the end of the year slideshow would NOT be Fair Use
2. Did I lower or reduce the market value of the work?
- Printing out and making copies of an article you found on non-profit website would be Fair Use
- Copying workbooks that are supposed to be replaced would NOT be Fair Use
3. Am I using it for an educational purpose?
- Using images of farms from online so students have a better understanding of what being on a farm is like would be Fair Use
- Copying and pasting clipart from a pay site to spruce up a boring presentation slide would NOT be Fair Use
Fair Use protects our rights as citizens and, in particular, educators to utilize copyrighted works. As citizens, we need to exercise this right before we lose it.
Works that are in the Public Domain are no longer under copyright and can be used as we see fit.
There are also resources that are published under the Creative Commons license. Works published under this license can be used free of charge, but with possible other conditions needing to be met. The pages in this section house ways to find such works. Be sure to check the license to see if the author wishes to be attributed and gives permission to alter the work in any way or has other conditions.
Here are some additional resources on Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons
- Code of Best Practices (watch the video and then scroll about 1/2 way down): Link
Best Practices for Media Literacy
Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning
View more presentations from Renee Hobbs
A Fairy Use Tale
Applying principles of Fair Use to creating a PSA with 4th grade students