Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright and Creative Commons

Understanding copyright issues in the classroom, plus a self-paced instructional module!

Myth & Reality

MYTH: I don’t need Fair Use, educators have “special privileges”!

Reality: Educational Fair Use does have some exemptions, but they are extremely limited.

MYTH: It’s easy for an academic, I can use whatever I want because everything I do is “noncommercial”!

Reality: Simply not making money does not grant you a fair use pass.

MYTH: It’s old, it’s out of print, and the author is DEAD. Of course I can use it freely!

Reality: Out of print (or the author’s death) does NOT mean out of copyright.

MYTH: It’s on the web, so it’s public domain!

Reality: ”Public Domain” is a specific legal phrase that is in many ways irrelevant to web content.

MYTH: I’m using content in an online class, so it’s password protected!

Reality: Fair Use still applies; the TEACH Act offers further permissions (and restrictions) but not a blanket exemption.

MYTH: I cited it and I even kept the © symbol!

Reality: Well done! You’re still obligated by the restrictions of Fair Use and the TEACH Act.

MYTH: I only used 10% so I’m good to go!

Reality: There are no firm rules on percentages. Check the 4 Factors of Fair Use!

MYTH: I can always beg forgiveness, because I can’t be expected to understand all this!

Reality: Nope, not a chance.

©2021 Georgia Highlands College |