Copyright are the legal protections that allow authors or copyright holder to control the use and reproduction of their work. The purpose of copyright, derived from Article I, §8 of the United States Constitution, is to provide a safe environment in which creativity, learning, and progress can thrive. Using someone else's published work for educational purposes is often acceptable, but you should still consider copyright law whenever you are using someone else's work in your teaching. This guide will help you understand and navigate copyright law, leverage fair use, and employ other strategies when incorporating published materials into your teaching.
Determining if you can use someone else's work comes down to three basic criteria:
You do not need permission to use work in several cases:
17 U.S.C. §107 tells us that "the fair use of a copyrighted work...for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."
To determine whether your intended use of a copyrighted work is a fair use, you should weigh the following considerations: