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Copyright & Fair Use

Learn the basics of copyright law, especially as it is applied to videos, images, and published documents in a university setting..

Using Images & Media

Everything on the Internet is not free for you to use.

Copyright protects digital items just as it does physical ones. However, in the digital environment it can be very difficult to see what copyright or license applies and even more difficult to track down a creator to ask for permission. So what can you do?

Use media with stated licenses

This includes Creative Commons and Public Domain; these works will be clearly labeled so that you understand what you need to do to edit or reuse them.

See if your situation qualifies as Fair Use

If you are using these materials in the classroom, as a student or instructor, your work may be subject to different guidelines. Remember, you will still need to provide citation information to give proper credit to your sources.

Create your own media

Thanks to technology, creating your own images and media is easier than ever before.

Purchase the rights to use items

There are many sites where you can pay to be able to use images, videos, etc. We recommend pursuing the other three options first!

Film Licenses

The library purchases films in both physical and streaming digital formats. When library videos are used beyond the scope of Fair Use or the TEACH Act (which encompasses in-person, classroom use), special permissions may be required. Although our acquisitions team favors purchasing extended rights for videos, this is not always possible at the point of sale.

We recommend contacting the library to discuss any extended rights you may require. A librarian can help clarify the rights available to you for a specific title and investigate the possibility of purchasing additional rights as necessary.

Terms of Use for Streaming Video Platforms

Terms of Use for Physical Media

Public Performing Rights