Creative Credit & Copyright

Learn about Copyright and Fair Use

Consume, Create, and Share Information Responsibly

Technology introduces with it the ease of plagiarism and borrowing other's creative works without properly citing the original artist. As a student, you need to understand that copyright is a legal system that protects your rights to your own creative work and protects the work of others from you. Plagiarism and piracy are irresponsible uses of creative works online.

What to do in the presence of...

Plagiarism means using someone else's ideas or words without crediting the source and pretending they are your own ideas.
  • Take ownership of your work and do not take ownership of others' work.


Piracy is the unauthorized use, reproduction, or sharing of copyrighted or patented material - typically music, movies, TV shows, and software.

  • Encourage legal downloading and sharing by using legitimate online retailers for music and movie downloads.
  • Illegal downloading and sharing sites pose legal risks and leaves your computer vulnerable to viruses, identity, theft, and/or spyware.


Copyright is a legal concept that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time to enable the creator the rights to receive compensation for their work. Using a copyrighted image in your work for a monetary gain is actually a form of theft, stealing from the original creator.

  • When using copyrighted works to create video remixes, mash-ups, fan fiction, blogs, or artwork to post online check to see if your creation is protected by fair use**.


**Fair use is determined based on four factors:
1. The purpose and character of the use

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

3. the amount of the copyrighted work used in relation to the entire copyrighted work

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market value of the copyrighted work

Tips to Prevent Plagiarism and Piracy

For more information about Creative Credit and Copyright, including what it looks like and how to avoid piracy and plagiarism visit www.commonsensemedia.org

Tips for Respecting Creative Work

For more information on Creative Credit and Copyright, including how to respectfully use creative work not in the public domain, visit www.commonsensemedia.org

Reuse, Rework, and Remix

Create an Original Composition by Using Copyrighted Works

Find three copyrighted works (a combination of artwork, songs, brand logos etc.) that illustrate some of your favorite things.


Create a single piece (an artwork, play, digital story, poem, storybook etc.) that demonstrates who you are.


  • When using copyrighted work you can crop images, take clips from music, but always add your own original content.



As you work, use the Four Points of Fair Use handout to ensure you are creating a work that does not violate any artists' rights to the original works you are incorporating in your piece.

The Four Points of Fair Use Student Handout

Use the Fair Use Handout to determine if your creative Mash-up or Remix use of copyrighted works is covered by fair use practices.