The Media Center must follow copyright laws when converting, copying or editing media formats. Fair Use doctrine and the Teach Act specify that portions of films, television shows, audio works and text can be used for educational purposes under certain conditions. The media center equipment may not be used in a manner that would violate copyright.

The following information compiles helpful guides and best practices when navigating the confusing world of Fair Use & Copyright.  Feel free to contact with any specific question you may have regarding the use of copyrighted materials in audio & video productions as well as in class use.

Fair Use

Fair use is the right, in some circumstances, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it. Fair use enables the creation of new culture, and keeps current copyright holders from being private censors. With the Washington College of Law, the Center for Social Media creates tools for creators, teachers, and researchers to better use their fair use rights.  The following are some resources created by the Center for Social Media that can serve as a guide to follow best practices in applying fair use to your projects.

Fair Use Checklist-Help deciding if you can use a copyrighted work in your project

Copyright slider to help determine if work is in the Public Domain

Code of best practices in online video

Full guidelines for online video


The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Full list of guidelines for Media Literacy Education


Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use

Full set of guidelines for Documentary Filmmakers

Examples of Successful Fair Use in Documentary Film

Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions


Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

Guidelines for Scholarly Research here