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Using Copyrighted Materials in the Classroom

Quick tips for Fair Use Week

One of the questions we receive regularly is about the use of copyrighted material in the classroom. The Fair Use clause of the U.S. Copyright Law allows the use of of copyrighted material without permission by the copyright holder under certain circumstances.

We provide information about Fair Use on our Copyright and Teaching webpage, including:

  • advice regarding the use of specific material, such as videos,
  • best practices such as limiting access to students in your course, only uploading what is really needed, and taking material down when the course ends,
  • and tips on obtaining permissions when needed.

Fair Use Is Your Best Friend” was the title of a blog post for Fair Use Week a few years ago. This is still true and we encourage you to become familiar with this doctrine. It will make decisions about what material you might include in teaching much easier.

If you have specific questions or if you would like a general consultation on this topic, please contact the library’s Scholarly Communication Officer Michael Ladisch (




copyright teaching