Copyright and Fair Use Policies

Information for K-12 Teachers

General Information

Many copyrighted materials can be used in education because of fair use policies. However, some restrictions are still important to keep in mind.


Do not make and distribute copies of copyrighted material.

Do not post copyrighted materials online.


Keep fair use guidelines in mind when considering using copyrighted materials.

What qualifies for fair use?

Four Guidelines:

1. Purpose and Character

- should be used for nonprofit or educational purposes

- should not be used for entertainment or commercially

2. Nature

- should be more factual information

- creative or unique work is more protected

3. Amount and Sustainability

- borrow as little material as possible

- only use what is necessary

4. Potential Market

- the smaller the value of the material, the safer

- if there is a license to sell the material, it is more likely to be protected

Creative Commons Symbols and Their Meanings