Use of Copyrighted Media in the Classroom

Many instructors avoid using TV or movie clips, images, web sites, broadcasts, songs or other copyrighted materials in lectures and online courses out of confusion about the legal doctrine of “fair use.”  It can be difficult to determine when the use of such media constitutes infringement of copyright law or falls under fair use provisions of copyright law. 

Copyright Symbol

A new code of best practices helps educators and students reclaim their rights to fair use of copyrighted media in the classroom.  America University’s Center for Social Media has published The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education to demystify fair use.  Well worth a quick read, the guide offers guidelines for determining fair use in educational settings.

Common copyright questions about books as well as media are well covered in Know Your Copy Rights from the Association of Research Libraries. 


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