Digital Citizenship in Depth

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Code of Best Practices

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education is a document that clarifies how fair use applies to the most common situations where media literacy educators make use of copyrighted materials in their work. It provides support and guidance for media literacy educators so that they can make their own reasoned and informed judgments about fair use. It addresses five areas of educational practice:
1. using copyrighted materials in media literacy lessons;
2. using copyrighted materials in creating curricula;
3. sharing curriculum materials;
4. student use of copyrighted materials in their work; and
5. developing audiences for student work.

Media Education Lab


What is Copyright? video

By law, you are allowed to use:


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 1000 words, whichever is less
  • Entire poem if less than 250 words
  • 250 words or less if poem is more than 250 words
  • No more than 5 poems (or excerpts) of different poets, from an anthology
  • Only 3 poems (or excerpts) per poet


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 3 minutes, whichever is less
  • Clip cannot be altered in any way


  • A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety
  • No more than 5 images of an artist's or photographer's work
  • When using a collection, no more than 10% or no more than 15 images, whichever is less
  • Photos cannot be rebroadcasted on the Internet (Ex: Podcasting, webpages)


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Any alterations cannot change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work


  • Internet resources often combine both copyrighted and public domain sites; therefore care should be used in downloading any sites for use in multimedia presentations
  • Until further clarification, educators and students are advised to write for permission to use Internet resources and to be mindful of the copyright ramifications of including embedded additional links to that particular site

Numerical Data Sets

  • Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table

Creative Commons

Get Creative Video

Reticulum Rex Video

Share, Remix, Reuse - Legally

Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

Creative Commons Licenses

Fair Use

Users Rights, Section 107 video

If you wish to use a work, you must follow these four factors:
1. The Transformative Factor - Purpose and Character of Use - Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of a compilation. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new, or merely copied verbatim into another work.

Two key questions: 1. Did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original? 2. Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?

2. Nature of the Copyrighted Work - For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable. There is more leeway to copy from factual works such as biographies than from fictional works, such as plays or novels.

3. Amount and Substantiality of Portion Taken - Duplicating exceprts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair us.

4. The Effect of use on the Market - If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply. This is the most important of the four tests for fair use.
Public Domain (Flowchart)

The public domain is a range of intellectual property materials which are not owned or controlled by anyone.

  • When a copyright expires, the work enters the public domain.
  • A creative work is said to be in the public domain if there are no laws which restrict its use by the public at large.
  • Works created before the existence of copyright and patent lawas also form part of the public domain.


Michelle Krill's Wiki

Blue Mountain School District Wiki

Copyright Confusion Wiki