Classroom Copyright Information
"Fair Use" of Copyrighted Works
- Copyright law protects the rights of artists to control usage of their work; use of copyrighted work usually requires the express written permission of the artist.
- "Fair Use" is a part of the law that protects the rights of individuals wishing to use portions of copyrighted works in the creation of new works.
- Section 107 of the Copyright Act outlines such fair uses: "reproduction ... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
- "Fair Use" does not protect the use of copyrighted works when done simply to avoid the work of recreating the work oneself.
- To use copyrighted work without permission, you must "transform" the work--use it for a different purpose than it was originally created for--and you may only use the portion necessary to meet your goal.
- Use of copyrighted works within an educational setting may be more likely to be viewed as fair use.
- Giving attribution to the creator of works you've used is required for academic honesty. (Remember to cite your sources!)
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
- The Fair Use section of copyright law is very broadly defined; judges determine cases based on whether the purpose of the use was justified.
- What is most important is your reasoning for why using the copyrighted work was necessary to achieving the goals of of your new work.
- See the Center for Social Media's Code of Best Practices for Media Literacy Education for more information.
How Do I Give Credit?
Even when following these fair use guidelines, you must give credit to the author or artist so as not to plagiarize, which is a serious academic offense. See the "MLA Works Cited Format" page of the H.C. Crittenden Middle School Library homepage for guidelines on citing works used.
*Contact H.C. Crittenden Middle School's Library Media Specialist with any Questions or Comments