How do I know if it is
Copyright protection arises automatically the
moment an original work is fixed in a tangible
medium of expression. It does not need to be
registered, published, or have a copyright notice
on it. Copyright has expired for works published
in the US before 1923 and, therefore, they are in
the public domain. For other works that may have
entered the public domain, see Copyright Term
and the Public Domain in the United States
Copyright infringement occurs when using
copyrighted work without permission or without a
solid fair use case, and is a legal matter handled
by the courts.
This doesn’t have to be you!
You can safely and legally use
images if you apply the 4 factors
of fair use.
Purpose of the image
Are you using the image to explicate your lesson?
Use only the portion necessary for the lesson.
Link to the image
Post copies in CDS for a limited time to the only the
members of the class
Is the image used to decorate the page?
No. This is not a legitimate use of a copyrighted image.
Use images that are not copyrighted.
Nature and type of work
Factual or documentary work is favored over
This is not as stringent when using images as when you are
Published work is favored over unpublished work.
The amount used.
Less is more!
Use only 15% of the images that are collected into
You may make up to five copies of an image for use in the
Does your use of an image cause the artist to
If you use the work again and again it might effect
the market price for the image.
When in doubt, ask permission.
Works that are no longer in copyright
Link to the image(s) on the web
Take your own photographs