Copyright is a law of the United States that protects the work of authors, artists, musicians, and others from being used without permission.  This is a great video that will provide a brief overview of copyright.


Check one of these sites out: 

Videos to Watch

What should I do?

Use the links on the AUDIO and MEDIA pages above to find copyright friendly materials for your school projects.  You should also look over the rest of this page to learn more about Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain, Primary vs Secondary Sources, and more!

More Information

Fair Use

Fair use is a section of the United States Copyright Law that states teachers and students may use copyrighted material for educational use.

There are 4 rules that you must follow to be covered by Fair Use Protection:
  1. You must be using it for a specific educational purpose

  2. The nature of the work - non fiction, fact based material is easier to justify with fair use than more original and creative works

  3. You are only using a small portion of whole work, not the whole thing

  4. You are not keeping anyone from using money - your "fair use" does not discourage others from still buying it in

Public Domain

The public domain is all of the material that is not owned or controlled by anyone.
  • When a copyright expires, the work enters the public domain.  There are complicated rules to decide when this happens.
  • A creative work is said to be in the public domain if there are no laws which restrict its use by the public at large.
  • Works created before the existence of copyright and patent laws also form part of the public domain.

Hotlist of PD Image Sites | American Political History Images | Musopen (Music) |

Primary & Secondary Sources

Primary sources provide first hand accounts of events, usually written at the time the event occurred. Examples would be diaries, memoirs, letters, published accounts written at the time of the event, photos and videos documenting the event, government records, census data, oral interviews, and artifacts.

Secondary sources are an analysis of events that happened and are created by examining primary sources.

National Archives | Primary Source Learning |  Primary Sources Basics

Creative Commons

Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally
Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

CC Search | Flickr Advanced Search | Firefox CC Search | CC Content Directories | Google Advanced Search (usage)