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Your Digital Classroom: Fair Use, Creative Commons, and More



Institution ArtsConnectEd

Understanding copyright is an important part of media literacy. The following resources will help you safely navigate (and guide your students) through issues of copyright, fair use, public domain, and more.

  1. When you can, use materials that are unrestricted or have no known restrictions. Always include attributions for materials you find through these channels. Here are some sources for finding materials that are not restricted by copyright:
    1. Content that's in the public domain or produced by the U.S. Federal Government
    2. Creative Commons:
      1. Use Flickr's "advanced search" to find Creative Commons-licenced media. This is a good idea when including custom media in an Art Collector Set.
      2. YouTube also has a Creative Commons filter. Again, a great idea for videos embedded in Art Collector Sets.
    3. Directory of Open Access Journals:
    4. Getty Museum Open Collection:
    5. Internet Archive: This is a great source for free-to-use mp3 files to embed in your Art Collector Sets.
    6. Open Access content, including textbooks:
    7. OER Commons:
    8. Project Gutenberg:
    9. Ted Ideas Worth Spreading:
    10. Learning Object Respositories (LOR's)


  2. Stay informed about copyright law and comply with fair use. A good rule of thumb for students is that using copyrighted materials (even within fair use) should never be a replacement for creative effort. Here are some helpful resources:
    1. Know Your Copy Rights (PDF), a free brochure produced by the Association of Research Libraries (
    2. Copyright for Educators K-12: (Courtesy Little Buffalo Law & Consulting.)
    3. Visit for an excellent discussion of fair use in a variety of environments, including media literacy.
    4. Fair Use Evaluator, an online tool designed to help you determine the fairness of a use under U.S. Copyright Code:
    5. The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education:, a report by the Center for Media & Social Impact (
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Type: Announcements
Added to Site: December 19, 2013