Copyright and Fair Use Presentation

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use

Citation Resources

Copyright and Fair Use Information for Education

(Note: The recommendations for the amount of copyrighted material that can be used in educational settings based on the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act are not LAW. They are guidelines based on the recommendations of academia and Congressional Committees. More links for reference are posted in the For Further Research section below.)

Copyright Exclusions - Fair Use Factors

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  4. and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Copyright Recommendations Chart

General Fair Use Guidelines

  • Students may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in their academic multimedia projects, with proper credit and citations. They may retain them in personal portfolios as examples of their academic work.
  • Students and teachers must include on the opening screen of their programs and on any printed materials that their presentation has been prepared under fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and are restricted from further use.

Educators may claim fair use for their own productions providing these productions are:
  • For face-to-face curriculum-based instruction
  • Demonstrations of how to create multimedia productions
  • Presented at conferences (but you may not share copies of the actual production)
  • For remote instruction as long as the distribution signal is limited
  • Kept for only 2 years
  • Fair use ends when the multimedia creator loses control of his product's use, such as when it is accessed by others over the Internet.

Educators or students need not write for permission if their presentation falls within the specific multimedia fair use guidelines; however, educators and students are advised to note that if there is a possibility that their own educational multimedia project incorporating copyrighted works under fair use could later result in broader dissemination, whether or not as commercial product, it is strongly recommended that they take steps to obtain permissions during the development process for all copyrighted portions rather than waiting until after completion of the project.

So What Can I Use?


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 1000 words, whichever is less
  • Poems
    • Entire poem if less than 250 words
    • 250 words or less if longer poem
    • No more than 5 poems (or excerpts) of different poets, from an anthology
    • Only 3 poems (or excerpts) per poet

Motion Media

  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 3 minutes, whichever is less
  • Clip cannot be altered in any way


  • A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety
  • No more than 5 images of an artist's or photographer's work
  • When using a collection, no more than 10% or no more than 15 images, whichever is less
  • Photos cannot be rebroadcasted on the Internet (Ex: Podcasting)


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Any alterations cannot change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work


  • Internet resources often combine both copyrighted and public domain sites; therefore care should be used in downloading any sites for use in multimedia presentations.
  • Until further clarification, educators and students are advised to write for permission to use Internet resources and to be mindful of the copyright ramifications of including embedded additional links to that particular site.

For Further Research

Creative Commons

Learn about Creative Commons licensing and copyright information.

Videos About Creative Commons

Fair(y) Use - Copyright Laws