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Copyright for Students: May I use it?

This guide will give students a basic knowledge of copyright and "fair use" rules, and will offer suggested sources for locating images, sounds, and video clips for school projects.

Helpful resources to determine usability

Here are a few of the more common "rules" that allow for the usage of works created by someone other than yourself.

  • Many works created prior to 1923, or by the United States government may be in the public domain.
  • Some creators choose to use a Creative Commons license that makes their works available under certain circumstances.
  • Fair Use doctrine makes portions of work available for educational purposes under certain circumstances.
Try the resources below to "test" the usability of an image, sound, or words that you are considering. 

Copyright Flowchart

Images are from Openclipart (CC0 1.0

Fair Use

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

Public Domain

Copyright and Intellectual Freedom

LLC personnel shall comply with all procedures pertaining to copyrights as established by College policy. (See Appendix 1 Administrative Procedure Manual (APM) APM 02-0210, Intellectual Property and Copyright)

FSCJ LLC adheres to all provisions of U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and the Fair Use Section of U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107). Students, faculty, and staff must be mindful of the intellectual property rights accorded to the creator of items such as books, articles, music, drawings, digital media, videos, sound recordings, etc. The unauthorized use of such works may result in penalties. Copyright notices should be visible on public LLC copiers/printers to remind users of their rights and responsibilities under the law.

Intellectual Freedom

The LLC pledges to uphold the principles of intellectual freedom as written in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement .