Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia


Educators and students may incorporate portions of copyrighted materials (see table below) in their own multimedia projects in support of the educational activities of the institution.  Students who created them for their class assignments may use them in their portfolios for later uses such as job and graduate school interviews. 

Educators may use their own educational multimedia project for curriculum-based instructions in the following situations: 

  • Face-to- face teaching.
  • Directed self-study of students.
  • Remote, real-time instruction to enrolled students in remote sites using the institution’s secure electronic network or for after class review or directed self-study on the condition that there are technological provisions for accessing the network and educational multimedia project (i.e. password or PIN) and preventing copying copyright-protected material. If university’s technology cannot prevent duplication, then the multimedia educational project should be available only for 15 days; after that, one copy may be placed on library reserve.

       Resources: Ball State University and University of Texas

Requirements for multimedia projects:

  • Credit the sources used.
  • Display the copyright notice and copyright ownership of works used.
  • Opening screen should contain notice that some materials included are under fair use exemption of U.S. copyright law.


  • Time - The use of educational multimedia projects created for educational purpose is up to 2 years after the first instructional use with a class. Use beyond that time period requires permission from the copyright holder.
  • Copying and distribution – No more than two copies of educator’s educational multimedia project, one of which may be placed on reserve in the Library. An additional copy may be made only if is replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged copy. For joint authorship of a multimedia project, one copy per author is allowed.
  • Portions – See Fair Use Table.


  • Just because something is on the Internet does not mean that it can be reproduced or used without permission.  Obtain permission when in doubt.
  • Reproduction or decompilation of copyright-protected computer programs is not covered by these guidelines.
  • Fair use does not supersede or preempt licenses and contractual agreements.


Resource from the University of Texas