Frequently Asked Question

Copyright and Fair Use for Educators
Last Updated a year ago


1. Acknowledgment of the source makes a use fair.
FALSE There are some other guidelines to follow. See the video and points below.

2. Because if is for education, it is Fair Use.
FALSE Fair Use is not a catch-all because we are in education. Be certain you are within the law. One of the biggest areas violated is the "amount and sustainability" stipulation to Fair Use.

3. If I am acting under Fair Use, I can publish it online to share with my students and families.
Not Really... You are still using a copyrighted work with all of the protections therein; you can use it in class under Fair Use, but it is limited to your class. Posting publicly online can violate the original copyright law as you are now re-publishing the work and extending beyond your classroom. Is there any way to share student work electronically? Sure. Check out this document and video:

Take Aways:

Using Copyrighted Material

1. Check who owns it.
2. Get permission to use it.
3. Give credit to the creator.
4. Buy it (if necessary)
5. Use it responsibly.

Fair Use

Is it for:
1. Schoolwork & Education
2. News Reporting
3. Criticizing or Commenting
4. Comedy or Parody

1. Only use a small amount of the work.
2. Add new meaning to make it original.
3. Rework it and use it in a totally different way.
4. Use it for nonprofit purposes.

17 USC 107 Copyright Law

1. Purpose & Character of Use
2. Nature of the Work
3. Amount & Sustainability
4. Effect of Use on Potential Market

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