Copyright and Fair Use



  • the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, or sell the contents and form of a literary, musical, or artistic work

Fair Use

  • broad exception that allows people to use a work without permission in certain circumstances

What Can I Use?

Printed Materials


  • Contain less than 250 words
  • 250 word excerpt of poems containing more than 250 words

Articles, Stories, and Essays

  • Contain less than 2,500 words
  • Longer articles, stories, and Essays: 10% or 1,000 words whichever is less

Chart, picture, diagram, or cartoon
  • One per item

Illustrated material with less than 2,500 words (children's book)

  • Two pages

  • Make multiple copies for classroom use, one per student.
  • Place into multimedia for instruction.
  • Students may place in multimedia projects.
  • Consumables may not be copied.
  • Copies can be made for nine instances per semester.


  • Photos
  • Illustrations
  • Collections


  • Only five images may be used from an artist or photographer.
  • Collections: 15 images or 10%, whichever is less.


  • Purchased or rented videotapes
  • DVD's


  • May be used in the classroom for instruction, not for entertainment or reward.

Video for Projects

  • Videotapes
  • DVD's
  • Multimedia Encyclopedias
  • QuickTime Movies
  • Video clips from the Internet


  • Students may use 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, of video obtained legally.
  • Sources must be cited.

Music for Projects

  • CD's
  • Audio clips from the Web
  • Cassette tapes
  • Records


  • Teachers and students may use 30 seconds per composition for an educational presentation.


  • Purchased and licensed


  • Purchased software may be used on one computer at a time.
  • The number of computers being used at one time may not exceed the number of licenses purchased.


  • Connections
  • World Wide Web


  • Students and teachers may download images for projects and lessons.
  • Images may not be reposted without permission.
  • Links may be reposted.


  • Broadcasts
  • Cable
  • Videos made of programs


  • Broadcasts or videos made of television broadcasts may be used for instruction and kept for 10 days.
  • Cable programs may be used with permission and some may be kept by teachers for an extended period of time (Cable in the Classroom).