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Images and Multimedia

Get help finding images, video, and audio clips. Also see copyright information.

Important Note

This is a guide to copyright law and the Fair Use statute created by St. Catherine University librarians. Information found on this guide should not be taken as legal advice.

General Information

Fair Use in Higher Education

Understanding the Fair Use Statute

Under the Fair Use Statute, copyrighted work may be reproduced for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.  To determine whether the use of copyrighted material is a fair use, consider these four factors:

  • The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work.
  • The amount and substantially of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

*Text adapted from the U.S. Copyright Act

Fair Use and Multimedia Guidelines

Exercise caution in using digital material downloaded from the Internet for educational purposes. There is a mixture of copyright protection online, and just because you have access to the material does not mean that it can be reproduced or reused without permission.

Limitations on the amount of the copyrighted work for multimedia include:

  • No more than 5 images by an artist or photographer, and no more than 10% or 15 images (whichever is less) from a published or collective work.
  • Up to 10% or 3 minutes (whichever is less) of the total motion media.
  • Up to 10% but not in excess of 30 seconds of music and lyrics from an individual musical work.

If you plan to replicate or reproduce beyond these limitations, you must seek permission from the copyright holder.

*Text adapted from the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia. See the full document by clicking on the link in the adjacent column.

©2014 St. Catherine University Library, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA