Copyright and Fair Use

Jamesha Richard


Copyright is a law that provides you with the control over how the material you created can be used by others. It protects works that have been fixed in a tangible medium such as music, artwork, computer software, liteary works and web pages.

Fair Use

The "fair use” provision of the copyright allows copyrighted items to be use without given permission from the copyright owner. This is only possible for certain uses such as news repoting and teaching, and there are also limits to what can be used from a work.

Giving the Rules a Thumb

Differents limits apply to different types of copyrighted works.

  • Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, of a total motion media piece.
  • Up to 10% or 100 words, whichever is less of the total piece of text material.
  • An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet or five poems by different poets from any anthology may be used.
  • For poems of greater length, 1000 words may be used but no more than 3 excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology may be used.
  • Up to10% but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work, including songs, song lyrics and music videos.
  • Photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer.
  • When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project.