Works protected by copyright include the following categories: Figure 1. Bollinger Law Firm Copyrights Protected Chart Architectural works Sound recordings Motion pictures and other audiovideo works Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works Pantomimes and choreographic works Dramatic works, including any accompanying music Musical works, including any accompanying words Literary works
“ The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.” (U.S. Copyright Office-Fair Use, 2009, p.2)
“ When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation.” (U.S. Copyright Office-Fair Use, 2009, p.2)
“ The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may be safely taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission” (2009, p.2).
Below are some links to resources that will assist you, as educators, in determining whether you are legally within your rights under Section 107 of copyright law. Please view them paying particular attention to the checklists used by universities in determining what is covered under fair use.
1. Columbia University Libraries on Fair Use-Be sure to check out the PDF version of the checklist