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Multiple Literacies & Web 2.0

ShaZam! Multiple Literacies in the 21st Century School Library

Documenting the Fair Use Reasoning Process

Digital Citizenship Resources

YouTube Copyright

The Power of Open


Creative Commons began providing licenses for the open sharing of content only a decade ago. Now more than 400 million CC-licensed works are available on the Internet, from music and photos, to research findings and entire college courses. Creative Commons created the legal and technical infrastructure that allows effective sharing of knowledge, art and data by individuals, organizations and governments. More importantly, millions of creators took advantage of that infrastructure to share work that enriches the global commons for all humanity.

The Power of Open collects the stories of those creators. Some are like ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative news organization that uses CC while partnering with the world’s largest media companies. Others like nomadic filmmaker Vincent Moon use CC licensing as an essential element of a lifestyle of openness in pursuit of creativity. The breadth of uses is as great as the creativity of the individuals and organizations choosing to open their content, art and ideas to the rest of the world.

Copyright friendly Music and Sound

Copyright Friendly Music and Sound

Thanks to Joyce Valenza

Creative Commons Search - Images

Sharing Student Work

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.

This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.

Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances.

This is a guide to current acceptable practices, drawing on the actual activities of creators, as discussed among other places in the study Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Videoand backed by the judgment of a national panel of experts. It also draws, by way of analogy, upon the professional judgment and experience of documentary filmmakers, whose own code of best practices has been recognized throughout the film and television businesses.


This code of best practices does not tell you the limits of fair use rights.

It's not a guide to using material people give permission to use, such as works using Creative Commons licenses. Anyone can use those works the way the owners say that you can.

It's not a guide to material that is already free to use without considering copyright. For instance, all federal government works are in the public domain, as are many older works. In most cases, trademarks are not an issue. For more information on "free use," consult the document "Yes, You Can!" and

Remix --- Discussion Ideas

In AU Professor Larry Engel's Advanced Documentary Technique class, ten grad students used the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video to try to create "fair use" mashup videos. Take a look at the videos   More...

Remix Culture

When is it fair and legal to use other people's copyrighted work to make your own? What's the line between infringement and fair use? Take this tour of remix culture classics, and use the  Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video  to make your own decisions.

Copyright School from YouTube

Reuse, Remix, Rework

There are only two ways you can use copyrighted work without permission: (1) public domain, and (2) fair use. The term “fair use” means exactly what it says. It is a “fair use” of a copyrighted work without getting permission from the creator. It allows you to use copyrighted work without permission or paying a licensefee in certain situations.

Examples of public domain works:

Project Gutenberg is a collection of free e-books (electronic books) that are in the public domain. 

“The Commons” on Flickr is an archive of photos in the public domain.

  • Visit to explore.
  • If you wanted to use any of these works in the public domain, what could you do with them? You can copy, share, distribute, perform, change, remix, and alter the work however you wish.


  • Teachers use copyrighted websites, video, music, photos, books, etc. in their classes for educational purposes
  • Students use copyrighted photos for PowerPoint slides
  • Students use direct quotes from websites, articles, or books in school assignments

News reporting (reporters can use content such as copyrighted images and video clips to help tell their news stories)


  • News journalists use copyrighted photos and video clips in their articles to help  illustrate a story

Criticizing or commenting on something (when you make a creative work that adds your opinion or makes people see something in a new way)


  • Making a video that’s a political statement about global warming using copyrighted images and video clips
  • Making a video from movie and TV clips to pay tribute to your favorite actor

Comedy and Parody


  • Making a remix video on YouTube that makes fun of a movie or TV show
  • When a comedian takes a song and puts his or her own funny lyrics to it

Fair use can be used in these certain ways: 

Use a small amount (not the whole thing)


  • Using a little bit of a song in a mash-up, not the whole song

Add new meaning and make it original


  • Remixing clips from different movies to tell a whole new story

Rework and use in a different way


  • Using a copyrighted photo image as the basis for a painting

Use for a nonprofit purpose (it’s harder to claim fair use if you are making money off someone else’s work, or if you harm the creator’s ability to make money on the work you used)


  • Using a clip from a song in a student public service announcement about recycling  (nonprofit use)
  • Creating a remix video DVD and selling it on the Internet (for-profit use)

If you use a copyrighted image, video, piece of writing, etc. without reworking it enough to have new meaning and make it original, you could be breaking copyright law. The four points of fair use are just guidelines and not “rules.” People need to think critically, and proceed on a case-by-case basis, to decide whether or not something is fair use. Even if something is fair use, it is always a good idea to give credit to the creator of the work you used.

Government & Public Domain (mostly) Photographs

All About Creative Commons & Copyright (Steven Anderson)

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