Copyright for School

Basic Copyright

What is Copyright?  


Copyright is a Federal law that protects your work or anyone else's work from being copied, changed, or used without permission.  In other words, when you create a story, poem, picture, or any other works, it belongs to you.  Other people have to get permission to use it.


What is Fair Use?


Fair Use is a set of guidelines that allows you to use part of copyrighted works for educational purposes such as a report or multimedia presentation. 



Fair Use Guidelines


Up to 1000 words, but not more than 10% of the book or article



Up to 250 words or the entire poem if less than 250 words

No more than 3 poems by the same author

No more than 5 poems in a collection of poetry


Photographs or Drawings:

Up to 5 graphics or photographs by the same person

No more than 15 images from a collection

Images cannot be changed.



Up to 3 minutes but no more than 10% of the entire video

The video clip cannot be changed.



Up to 30 seconds but no more than 10% of sheet music

Up to 30 seconds but no more than 10% of recording

The music cannot be changed in any major way.



Remember to cite your sources.

Multimedia presentation must include a statement indicating fair use for educational purposes.

Copyright information must be included in bibliography.



If using online sites for information, check the copyright regulations.  Some sites allow use of information without copyright infringement.  If you have questions about a site, ask your teacher or the media specialist.  They will be able to help you. 



The following links will provide more information 
about copyright and general guidelines:


CyberBee Copyright for Kids (interactive) 


Copyright in an Electronic Environment

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) is an internationally active non-profit organisation that provides free licences for creators to use when making their work available to the public. These licences help the creator to give permission for others to use the work in advance under certain conditions.


Click here to understand more about Creative Commons

Public or government web sites will often allow educational use of their media. Check the site's Terms of Use to find out what is allowed. Several zoos and libraries offer media to students for projects. 


US Fish and Wildlife

Many digital resources are available.


National Park Images

This is a searchable database. 


BLM Images

This is a searchable database.


Pics for Teaching

Another photo rich resource of images to use.


Images for Educators and Students

Lots of friendly images are located here. Many useful for science.


Resources from the US Government

You may use these in your educational works.


World Images Library

Here are all sorts of great visual images.


Animal Photos

Here are images of animals that are available to use.


Search for Media With Creative Commons Licensing

Here are several search engines that will filter your search by license. Follow the links to verify they do fall under CC licensing for your use.


Royalty Free Music

From Kevin MacLeod. CC license attribution. 


Creative Commons Sites for Music

Here are several sites that allow you to use their music.


Free Music Archive

Free downloads of music to use in projects. Remember to cite your source, please. 


Sound Effects

Search a database of free sound effects/