• Copyright Information

    Students may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works in their academic multimedia projects, with proper credit and citations. They may retain them in personal portfolios as examples of their academic work. Students and teachers must include on the opening screen of their programs and on any printed materials that their presentation has been prepared under fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and are restricted from further use. Educators may claim fair use for their own productions providing these productions are:
    • For face-to-face curriculum-based instruction
    • Demonstrations of how to create multimedia productions
    • Presented at conferences (but you may not share copies of the actual production)
    • For remote instruction as long as the distribution signal is limited
    • Kept for only 2 years

    Fair use ends when the multimedia creator loses control of his product's use, such as when it is accessed by others over the Internet. Educators or students need not write for permission if their presentation falls within the specific multimedia fair use guidelines; however, "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.

    Fair Use Guidelines for Multimedia


    • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 1000 words, whichever is less
    • Poems — Entire poem if less than 250 words; 250 words or less if longer poem; No more than 5 poems (or excerpts) of different poets, from an anthology; Only 3 poems (or excerpts) per poet

    Motion Media:

    • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 3 minutes, whichever is less
    • Clip cannot be altered in any way


    • A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety
    • No more than 5 images of an artist's or photographer's work
    • When using a collection, no more than 10% or no more than 15 images, whichever is less


    • Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition, but no more than 30 seconds
    • Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds
    • Any alterations cannot change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work


    • Internet resources often combine both copyrighted and public domain sites; therefore care should be used in downloading any sites for use in multimedia presentations.
    • Until further clarification, educators and students are advised to write for permission to use Internet resources and to be mindful of the copyright ramifications of including embedded additional links to that particular site.

    Numerical Data Sets:

    • Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table
    • A field entry is defined as a specific item of information (e.g. name, 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

    Copying and Distribution Limitations:

    • Do not post multimedia projects claiming fair use exemption on an unsecured web site
    • No more than 2 copies of the original production may be made
    • Only 1 may be placed on reserve for others to use for instructional purposes
    • An additional copy may be made for preservation purposes, but may be used or copied only to replace a use copy that has been lost, damaged, or stolen
    • If more than one person has created the multimedia presentation, each principal creator may retain only one copy

    Alteration Limitations:

    • Multimedia selections falling within the above guidelines may be altered to illustrate a specific technique or to support a specific instructional objective
    • Notation of the alteration should be documented within the presentation itself

    Multimedia Presentations Citations:

    • Educators and students must credit sources, giving full bibliographic information when available.
    • Educators and students must display the copyright notice and copyright ownership information if this is shown in the original source.
    • Copyright information for images may be shown in a separate bibliographic section unless the presentation is being used for distance learning. In this case, the information must be incorporated within the image itself (i.e. it must appear on the screen when the image is viewed).

    Permission Requirements:

    • For multimedia projects used for non-educational or commercial purposes
    • For duplication or distribution of multimedia projects beyond limitations outlined above