Skip to Main Content

Academic Integrity: Using Images and Video

Copyright & Fair Use

Plagiarism v. Copyright

Whereas plagiarism is claiming that you are the author of someone else's work and is an ethical issue, copyright infringement is using someone else's work without their permission. Copyright is a protection given to authors of creative works like images, music, performances, movies, and literary works.
Fair use is an exception to copyright law that allows copyright-protected works to be used in certain circumstances without permission from the copyright holder. As copyright law does not specifically address many new situations, fair use - in its flexibility and adaptability - is the exception best positioned to support educators and students.

To help determine whether your use is fair, examine your use by asking yourself questions, such as

  • What is the purpose of my use? Is my use transformative? Is my use directly related to my educational goals?

  • What is the nature of the work? Is it creative or factual? Published or unpublished?

  • Does the portion I want to use make up the "soul" of the work? Can I make my point using less?

  • What effect might my use have on the market for the original work? Am I replacing a potential sale?

Look at your use of a copyrighted work and whether it is fair. Where the work is found or how much of the work you intend to use is less important than how you use the work itself.

For more information on copyright and fair use:



Copyright-friendly Sources

If you intend to use images, music, or video in a research project or presentation, consider the copyright-friendly resources below. Terms of use may differ from site to site and sometimes from item to item. Always check licensing information and attribution requirements for each site.