Skip to Content

Copyright and Fair Use

The library can help you in determining how copyrighted materials can be used in the classroom.

CGCC Copyright and Fair Use Administrative Rule
CGCC Guidelines for Specific Media Administrative Rule

CGCC Reproduction of All Copyrighted Materials Policy


Creators of works hold ownership over their creations. For instance, I can't take a novel, erase the author's name and sell it as my own.

Copyright Video Tutorial (7 minute video by Christie Fierro)

A short video of copyright concerns, fair use and Creative Commons licensing

Exceptions to Copyright

But there are times when you can use a piece of work even though it is copyrighted.

Fair Use

Research, teaching, criticism, reporting and parody are all ocassions when copyrighted material can be used for free, without asking permission from the creator. But there are limitations.

Fair Use Evaluator (created by American Library Association)

This is the American Library Association's version of the fair use evaluator tool.

Fair Use Guidelines (created by Kirkland Community College Libraries)

Useful guideline that helps you determine fair use for books, multimedia, and music.

Thinking Through Fair Use (created by University of Minnesota Libraries)

A helpful fair use evaluator tool.

Copyright Expiration

Copyright doesn't last forever. After a set amount of time, the copyright expires and the item falls into public domain. Items in the public domain are not subject to any private ownership; anyone can use them for free, without asking permission.

Copyright Term and Public Domain (created by Cornell University Copyright Information Center)

Help determining length of copyright term and whether something is in the public domain

Use in Distance Education

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act defines the use of copyrighted materials in specifically distance education classes.

The TEACH Act (created by University of Texas Libraries)

A look at the TEACH Act as determined by copyright law. Includes a handy checklist for Fair Use.

Alternatives to Copyright

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Sometime people forgo copyright and designate their work with a Creative Commons license. The creator is purposefully allowing others to use their work.