From Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University and the Media Education Foundation, this humorous and informative video uses fairy tale characters to explain the principles of fair use.
Fair use is undoubtedly one of the most controversial issues in scholarly communication today. An offshoot of copyright law, "fair use" is generally understood to be the lawful use of copyrighted materials by non-copyright holders for the following purposes:
Within these general purposes, US Copyright law further identifies four standards by which to judge whether a particular type of use is fair:
Materials that are part of the public domain are free to use without restriction. However, you should consult Stanford University Library's Copyright and Fair Use Overview's chapter on Public Domain works to be sure that other restrictions resulting from trademarks and derivations of public domain works do not affect your usage. See also this chart from the Cornell Copyright Information Center that shows what works are in the public domain as of January 1, 2010.
The Association of Research Libraries has created several guides to help you understand your "copyrights" as an educator:
Complete brochure -- full-color edition -- an in-depth guide to your rights and responsibilities when using both your own and others' materials for classroom instruction: [16.4 MB PDF] or [336 KB “zipped” PDF]
One-page “What You Can Do” chart--a quick reference sheet to your rights and responsibilities when using both your own and others' materials for classroom instruction: [120 KB PDF]
For more information, visit http://www.knowyourcopyrights.org.