Classroom Copyright Information

HCC Library: 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