Understanding Copyright and Fair Use

When creating a presentation or completing a digital project, you may want to borrow from someone else's work. For example, you may find a great image, music, or sound effect that you want to use in a digital presentation. Is this okay? If so, when is it okay? What are the rules? The goal of this page is to help you to answer these important questions. Remember - copyright protects both the creator and the user. As long as certain rules are followed, everyone benefits!

Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous video to teach the basics of copyright and fair use. He uses Disney characters to make his point. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License and can be freely shared and distributed.

Learning About Copyright

Learn more about copyright and fair use by exploring the following resources.

Copyright Kids

Copyright Kids is an interactive website that teaches students basic copyright law.

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright

The Library of Congress has developed an entertaining, interactive tutorial to teach students the basics of copyright and fair use.

Teaching Copyright

Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Teaching Copyright curriculum supports teachers as they work to teach students the fundamentals of copyright law. Each creatively designed lesson provides numerous teacher resources and helpful notes.

Copyright Friendly Media

The following links provide a wealth of copyright-free or generously licensed media resources for use in school projects and presentations. Check terms of use for each site, though, just to make sure that you are following their rules for appropriate use.
Clker - Online Royalty-free Public Domain Clip-Art

EduPic Graphical Resource for Educators

Life Magazine Photo Archives

NASA Images

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Open Clip Art Gallery

Pics 4 Learning

Pixabay - Public Domain Images

Purple Planet Royalty Free Music

School Clip Art Images for Teachers and Students