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Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Copyright Resources

Multimedia projects

Classroom presentation

Scenario: An instructor or student prepares and gives a presentation that displays photographs not taken by the presenter. Permission was not obtained to use the photographs.

Fair use? Yes. The copyright fair use provision explicitly provides for classroom use of copyrighted material. Instructors and students may perform and display their own educational projects or presentations for instruction.

Recording of classroom presentation

Scenario: What if the presentation explained in the scenario above is videotaped?

Fair use? Yes. This use would be considered fair use, if the recording is used for educational purposes such as student review or instruction.

Making changes to photographs

Scenario: What if the student or instructor were to change the attributes of the pictures discussed in the first scenario?

Fair use? Yes. This would be considered fair use for education, comment, criticism, or parody. One must inform the audience that changes were made to the photographer's copyrighted work.

Student project for distribution on the Internet

Scenario: An instructor asks their students to create a publicly-viewable web page using Google Sites, WordPress, or other platform. The students are required to include copyrighted content such as images and music.

Fair use? No. Since the instructor specifically stated that the project is being created for distribution over the web, this is not a fair use of any of the listed copyrighted materials and permission should be obtained.

Student project on the Internet with restricted access

Scenario: Same facts as the above scenario, however, access to each student's web page will be restricted to other students in the class.

Fair use? Yes. The project is being created for a class assignment and is on a password-protected site.

Use of copyrighted music

Scenario: An instructor or student creates a presentation and incorporates copyrighted music into the background. Assume that permission was not obtained to use the music for the presentation.Can the music be included in the presentation?

Fair use? Yes. This is fair use if instruction is occurring.

Use of music in recorded classroom presentation

Scenario: What if the presentation described in the scenario above is recorded?

Fair use? Yes. This is fair use if instruction is occurring.

Use of music as content in a classroom presentation

Scenario: An instructor teaching a course on opera creates a presentation that contains the works of ten contemporary artists and is presented to a new class every semester.

Fair use? Yes, as long as the use of the presentation continues to be for instruction.

Use of music in presentations for an online class

Scenario: The instructor from the scenario above begins teaching an online section of the course on opera and uses the same operatic works in their online lecture. 

Fair use? Yes, so long as the content can be accessed only by students registered for the course and is on a password-protected site.