Copyright & Fair Use
COPYRIGHT & FAIR USE BASICS
1. If you didn’t create it, then be thoughtful about how you use it
2. Make sure you know (and tell) where it came from
3. In general, you need permission to use others’ work
MORE INFO ABOUT COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE BASICS
If you didn’t create it, then be thoughtful about how you use it
If you reproduce any work not originally created by you (in any way), then know the rules (see all the info below).
Make sure you know (and tell) where it came from
When using others’ work, you should always give credit to the original author/artist. More info about this is available on our library’s Citation page.
In general, you need permission to use others’ work
There are exceptions. But until you know for sure, you should assume that you need permission:
Permission may come in the form of a license (Creative Commons).
You may ask permission.
The law may grant you permission, as with Fair Use or works in the Public Domain.
The four main factors of Fair Use are:
Purpose and character of the use (educational vs commercial)
Nature of the copyrighted work (factual vs creative, unpublished vs published)
Amount and substantiality used (small amount such as 10% vs large amount)
Market effect (does not impact market for original vs does impact market for original)
Links about fair use:
Fair Use Analysis (Purdue Library)
Fair Use Graphic (Houston Community College)
Creativity & Copyright: A Quick Guide for Students & Educators (ConnectSafely)
Fair Use Table (Andrews University)
Teaching Copyright: Fair Use FAQs (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
If you don’t think your use is Fair Use, then read the Copyright section.
“A work of authorship is in the ‘public domain’ if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.” (from Copyright.gov)
What constitutes a work in the public domain?
This handout from Teaching Copyright explains how to tell if something is in the public domain.
Where to find public domain works:
Copyright is the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same. (from Oxford Living Dictionaries)
How do I know if something is copyrighted?
Use these tools to determine if something is copyrighted:
How do I get permission to use copyrighted material?
Get more information about using copyrighted materials at:
More info about copyright:
Teaching Copyright: Copyright FAQ (Electronic Frontier Foundation)