Creating Multimedia

The measures listed here provide guidance for the use, without permission, of copyrighted works when creating educational multimedia products. These projects may incorporate original material as well as copyrighted motion media, music, text material, and graphic illustrations. If you follow the guidelines below, it is highly likely that your use will be considered fair use.

Guidelines For Student Use

Students may incorporate copyrighted material into projects created as part of a specific course. They may use this project in the course and may later incorporate it into a portfolio used for job interviews and for application to graduate school.

Guidelines For Faculty Use

Faculty may use copyrighted material when creating an educational presentation to be used in support of instructional activities at an educational institution. They may also use this material for a presentation at a professional conference or workshop and as part of their professional portfolio.

Time Restriction

The fair use of copyrighted material in multimedia projects lasts for two years. If you wish to use the material beyond a two-year period, you must obtain permission to do so.

Permissible Amounts (By Types of Media)

  • Print material:
    • Up to 10% of the total or 1,000 words, whichever is less.
    • An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by a single poet or a total of five poems by different authors from the same anthology. If a poem exceeds 250 words, you can use up to 250 words, but no more than three excerpts from a single poet or five excerpts from a poems within a single anthology.
  • Images, illustrations, and photographs:
    • No more than three images from one source.
  • Motion media:
    • Up to 10% of the total item or three minutes, whichever is less.
  • Music, lyrics, and music video:
    • Up to 10% of the total work but no more than 30 seconds of the music or lyrics from an individual musical work.
  • Numerical data sets:
    • Up to 10% or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, of the total work.
  • Copying a multimedia project:
    • There may be no more than two copies made of a project.

Please remember that the guidelines above only define the limits of fair use. If you are intending to use a project for commercial or non-educational purposes or are intending to duplicate and distribute the project beyond the scope permitted by these above guidelines, you must first obtain permission to do so from the copyright holder of each copyrighted work included within the project. If you need assistance obtaining permission, contact the Course Reserves and Copyright Services office.

For More Information

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video