Topics Map > Services > Security > Intellectual Property & Copyright
Intellectual Property & Copyright - Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia
Notice: If you are looking for resources on HyFlex teaching, please visit our Teach HyFlex Page
These guidelines were developed during the CONFU process.
These Guidelines shall not be read to supersede other preexisting education fair use guidelines that deal with the Copyright Act of 1976.
These guidelines clarify the application of fair use of copyrighted works as teaching methods that are adapted to new learning environments. Educators have traditionally brought copyrighted books, videos, slides, sound recordings, and other media into the classroom, along with accompanying projection and playback equipment. Multimedia creators integrated these individual instructional resources with their own original works in a meaningful way, providing compact educational tools that allow great flexibility in teaching and learning. Material is stored so that it may be retrieved in a nonlinear fashion, depending on the needs or interests of learners. Educators can use multimedia projects to respond spontaneously to students' questions by referring quickly to relevant portions. In addition, students can use multimedia projects to pursue independent study according to their needs or at a pace appropriate to their capabilities. Educators and students want guidance about the application of fair use principles when creating their own multimedia projects to meet specific instructional objectives.
1.3 Applicability of These Guidelines
2. Preparation of Educational Multimedia Projects Using Portions of Copyrighted Works
These uses are subject to the Portion Limitations listed in Section 4. They should include proper attribution and citation as defined in Sections 6.2.
2.1 By students
Students may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia projects for a specific course.
2.2 By educators for curriculum-based instruction
Educators may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia programs for their own teaching tools in support of curriculum-based instructional activities at educational institutions.
3. Permitted Uses of Educational Multimedia Programs Created Under These Guidelines
Uses of educational multimedia projects created under these guidelines are subject to the time portion, copying, and distribution limitations listed in Section 4.
3.1 Student use
Students may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines for educational uses in the course for which they were created and may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work for later personal uses such as job and graduate school interviews.
3.2 Educator use for curriculum-base instruction
Educators may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 for curriculum-based instruction to students in the following situations:
3.2.1 For face-to-face instruction,
3.2.2 Assigned to students for directed self-study,
3.2.3 For remote instruction to students enrolled in curriculum-based courses and located at remote sites, provided over the educational institution's secure electronic network in real-time, or for after class review or directed self-study, provided there are technological limitations on access to the network and the educational multimedia project (such as password or PIN) and provided further that the technology prevents the making of copies of copyrighted material.
If the educational institution's network or technology used to access the educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines cannot prevent duplication of copyrighted material, students or educators may use the multimedia educational projects over an otherwise secure network for a period of only 15 days after its initial real-time remote use in the course of instruction or 15 days after its assignment for directed self-study. After that period, one of the two use copies of the educational multimedia project may be placed on reserve in a learning resource center, library or similar facility for on-site use by students enrolled in the course. Students shall be advised that they are not permitted to make their own copies of the multimedia project.
3.3 Educator use for peer conferences
Educators may perform or display their own multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines in presentations to their peers, for example, at workshops and conferences.
3.4 Educator use for professional portfolio
Educators may retrain educational multimedia projects created under Section 2 of these guidelines in their personal portfolios for later personal uses such as tenure review or job interviews.
4. Limitations - Time, Portion, Copying, and Distribution
The preparation of educational multimedia projects incorporating copyrighted works under Section 2, and the use of such projects under Section 3, are subject to the limitations noted below.
4.1 Time limitations
Educators may use their educational multimedia projects created for educational purposes under Section 2 of these guidelines for teaching courses, for a period of up to two years after the first instructional use with a class. Use beyond that time period, even for educational purposes requires permission for each copyrighted portion incorporated in the production. Students may use their educational multimedia projects as noted in Section 3.1.
4.2 Portion limitations
Portion limitations mean the amount of copyrighted work that can be reasonably used in educational multimedia projects under these guidelines regardless of the original medium from which the copyrighted works are taken. In the aggregate means the total amount of copyrighted material from a single copyrighted work that is permitted to be used in an educational multimedia project without permission under these guidelines. These limits apply cumulatively to each educator's or student's multimedia project(s) for the same academic semester, cycle or term. All students should be instructed about the reasons for copyright protection and the need to follow these guidelines. It is understood, however, that students in kindergarten through grade six may not be be able to adhere rigidly to the portion limitations in this section in their independent developement of educational multimedia projects. In any event, each such project retained under Section 3.1 and 4.3 should comply with the portion limitations in this section.
4.2.1 Motion media
Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under section 2 of these guidelines.
4.2.2 Text material
Up to 10% or 1000 words, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted work consisting of text material may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. 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, 250 words may be used but no more than three excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology may be used.
4.2.3 Music, lyrics, and music video
Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work.
4.2.4 Illustrations and photographs
The reproduction or incorporation of photographs and illustrations is more difficult to define with regard to fair use because fair use usually precludes the use of an entire work. Under these guidelines a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than five images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2. 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 created under Section 2.
4.2.5 Numerical data sets
Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. A field entry is defined as a specific item of information, such as a name or Social Security number, in a record of a database file. A cell entry is defined as the intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet.
4.3 Copying and distribution limitations
Only a limited number of copies, including the original, may be made of an educator's educational multimedia project. For all of the uses permitted by Section 3, there may be no more than two use copies only one of which may be placed on reserve as described in Section 3.2.3.
An additional copy may be made for preservation purposes but may only be used or copied to replace a use copy that has been lost, stolen, or damaged. In the case of a jointly created educational multimedia project, each principal creator may retain one copy but only for the purposes described in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 for educators and Section 3.1 for students.
5. Examples of When Permission is Required
5.1 Using multimedia projects for non-educational or commercial purposes
Educators and students must seek individual permissions (licenses) before using copyrighted works in educational multimedia projects for commercial reproduction and distribution.
5.2 Duplication of multimedia projects beyond limitations listed in these guidelines
Even for educational uses, educators and students must seek individual permissions for all copyrighted works incorporated into their personally created educational multimedia projects before replicating or distributing beyond the limitations listed in Section 4.3.
5.3 Distribution of multimedia projects beyond limitations listed in these guidelines
Educators and students may not use their personally created educational multimedia projects over electronic networks, except for uses as described in Section 3.2.3, without obtaining permissions for all copyrighted works incorporated into the program.
6. Important Reminders
6.1 Caution in downloading material from the Internet
Educators and students are advised to exercise caution in using digital material downloaded from the Internet in producing their own multimedia projects, because there is a mix of works protected by copyright and works in the public domain on the network. Access to works on the Internet does not automatically mean that these can be reproduced and reused without permission or royalty payment and, furthermore, some copyrighted works may have been posted to the Internet without authorization of the copyright holder.
6.2 Attribution and acknowledgment
Educators and students are reminded to credit the sources and display the copyright notice © and copyright ownership information if this is known in the original source, for all works incorporated as part of the educational multimedia projects prepared by educators and students, including those prepared under fair use. Crediting the source must adequately identify the source of the work, giving a full bibliographic description where available (including author, title, publisher, and place and date of publication). The copyright ownership information includes the copyright notice (©, year of first publication, and name of the copyright holder).
The credit and copyright notice information may be combined and shown in a separate section of the educational multimedia project (e.g., credit section) except for images incorporated into the project for the uses described in Section 3.2.3. In such cases, the copyright notice and the name of the creator of the image must be incorporated into the image when, and to the extent, such information is reasonably available; credit and copyright notice information is considered "incorporated" if it is attached to the image file and appears on the screen when the image is viewed. In those cases when displaying source credits and copyright ownership information on the screen with the image would be mutually exclusive with an instructional objective (e.g. during examinations in which the source credits and/or copyright information would be relevant to the examination questions), those images may be displayed without such information being simultaneously displayed on the screen. In such cases, this information should be linked to the image in a manner compatible with such instructional objectives.
6.3 Notice of use restrictions
Educators and students are advised that they must include on the opening screen of their multimedia program and any accompanying print material a notice that certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines and are restricted from further use.
6.4 Future uses beyond fair use
Educators and students are advised to note that if there is a possibility that their own educational multimedia project incorporating copyrighted works under fair use could later result in broader dissemination, whether or not as commercial product, it is strongly recommended that they take steps to obtain permissions during the development process for all copyrighted portions rather than waiting until after completion of the project.
6.5 Integrity of copyrighted works: Alterations
Educators and students may make alterations in the portions of the copyrighted works they incorporate as part of an educational multimedia project only if the alterations support specific instructional objectives. Educators and students are advised to note that alterations have been made.
6.6 Reproduction or decompilation of copyrighted computer programs
Educators and students should be aware that reproduction or decompilation of copyrighted computer programs and portions thereof, for example the transfer of underlying code or control mechanisms, even for educational uses, are outside the scope of these guidelines.
6.7 Licenses and contracts
Educators and students should determine whether specific copyrighted works, or other data or information are subject to a license or contract. Fair use and these guidelines shall not preempt or supersede licenses and contractual obligations.