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Fair Use and Copyright

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The fair use exception to the copyright holder’s exclusive rights provides a flexible balancing test to determine if a use is fair. A good faith effort must be made to assess overall whether a use is fair by considering the character of the use, the nature of the work to be used, the amount used in proportion to the whole and the impact on the market for the work.

The following have become standard practice to assist a favorable fair use outcome:

  • Place links in a password protected environment restricted to a class, such as a Blackboard Vista course site.
  • Accompany links with bibliographic information acknowledging the source, and a caution against using or sharing the media inappropriately.
  • Unless a license has been purchased to stream the entire video, link only to excerpts that are, collectively, no longer than needed to accomplish the educational objective (more than one clip may be used).
  • Provide additional context for the film clips (e.g. associating it with commentary, discussion questions or a related assignment).

IDeS and O’Neill Media Center can assist instructors in preparing video content for online use with their courses.  To get started, and for best practices and solutions for particular teaching needs, please contact