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Media Center: Copyright and Fair Use

This guide is an overview of the services and equipment offered by the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library's Media Center.





Before You Start

Everything on the Internet is not free for you to use nor is it true.

The purpose of copyright is to protect digital items just as it does physical ones.  It can be very difficult to see what copyright or license applies or track down a creator in the digital environment.  Here are a few tips.


1. Use media with stated licenses.

This includes Creative Commons and Public Domain; these works will be clearly labeled so that you understand what you need to do to edit or reuse them.  You will need give credit where credit is due though.  Attribution is part of Creative Commons and items will typically state this.


2. See if your situation qualifies as Fair Use.

If you are using these materials in the classroom, as a student or instructor, your work may be subject to different guidelines. Remember, you will still need to provide citation information to give proper credit to your sources.  When considering Fair Use, think about the academic use of what you are doing.


3. Create your own media.

Technology has made creating your own images and media is easier than ever before. Use a camera, audio or video recorder to make your own media.  


4. Purchase the rights to use items.

There are many sites where you can pay to be able to use images, videos, etc.  

Fair Use

Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers

Association of College and Research Library's PRIMO "Site of the Month"

Creative Commons and Public Domain Images

Creative Commons &

Public Domain Images


Norfolk State University and the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library do not endorse the web sites of other entities or assume any responsibility for their content or operability. Norfolk State University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out directly or through a third-party, or any other entity with which Norfolk State University arranges to carry out its programs and activities.