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Copyright Basics

copyright logoKnow your rights as an educator!

These four factors must be considerd as a whole.

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials

A professor hands out copies of a newspaper article to read and discuss in class. Is this a violation of copyright or acceptable under the fair use doctrine? Does including a notice of copyright with each copy change anything?

If students film a parody of a copyrighted movie, is this considered fair use?

A faculty member scans an out of print book and uploads each chapter as a .PDF into their Cougar Course. Fair use or not?

Can you legally download a chapter of an e-book with a Creative Commons license, edit that chapter and post it in your course?  

If you're not sure of the answers to these questions, it's time to become better acquainted with the current state of copyright, and the fair use exceptions.

The resources below are offered as guidance, but judicial interpretation of copyright law continues to evolve with each court case, so stay informed. 


You should also understand the purpose of Creative Commons licensing and the range of licenses, each of which grants different usage rights. 

Creative Commons

How can I use the open educational resources I find on the CALM site or elsewhere?  How do you let people know that you want them to reuse your own work? Creative Commons licences hold the answer to these questions. This short video will show you how.

Home screen of video Using Creative commons licensing


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Center for Social Media and Social Impact