Teachers and students may use copyrighted materials for educational projects and learning activities, but they must follow specific “fair use” guidelines. These guidelines strongly advise obtaining permission from copyright owners whenever possible. Acknowledgement of copyright, including copyright symbol ©, is required.
For fair use to apply, work must be for instructional purposes, not for personal use.
When creating presentations with copyrighted materials, you need to include an opening screen (see below) in addition to your works cited page at the end of the presentation.
Your opening screen should say:
NOTICE: The following presentation contains copyrighted materials used under the Multimedia Guidelines and Fair Use exemptions of U.S. Copyright law. Further use is prohibited.
You may simply copy and paste the above (select "paste special" and choose to paste as text, unformatted text, or unicode text) onto your page.
Items can be used for specific periods
- Items may be kept in student portfolios as examples of academic work for any length of time.
- Video, taped from television, can be shown for up to 10 days from original broadcast.
Some reproduction of information from the Internet is allowed, some is not:
- Copying information from one website onto another website is not allowed.
- Creating a link to another website is allowed.
- Using copyrighted information from the Web in multimedia projects is permissible.
- Citations can be in a works cited or list form.
- Place the website address directly below any illustration or photograph used.
- Examples of properly cited resources.
Different types of information are subject to different limits
Text and data limits
For text and data, educational fair use allows the reproduction of:
- Up to 10 percent, but no more than 1000 words, of essays, articles or stories, of a single copyrighted work.
- Up to 250 words of an entire poem, or a portion of the poem.
- No more than three poems or excerpts by a single poet.
- No more than five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology.
- Up to 10 percent, but no more than 2500 fields or cell entries, from a database or data table.
Illustrations and photograph limits
Copyrighted images used on a web page must be displayed with the creator’s name. More...
Motion, music and lyrics limits
Alterations to a musical or motion media work cannot change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work. Performance rights must be purchased prior to use in a public performance. More...
Information for this publication was obtained from the Copyright Act of 1976.
For more information, see the Secondary Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia, or the Works Consulted Guidelines page.