Copyright and Fair Use

The library can help you in determining how copyrighted materials can be used in the classroom.

College Policies

CGCC Copyright and Fair Use Administrative Rule
CGCC Copyright and Patents Policy

CGCC Reproduction of All Copyrighted Materials Policy


Creators of works hold ownership over their creations. For instance, someone can't take a novel, erase the author's name and sell it as their own.

Copyright Video Tutorial (7 minute video by Christie Fierro)

A short video of copyright concerns, fair use and Creative Commons licensing

U.S. Copyright Law of the United States

The complete version of the U.S. Copyright Law, from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright for Instructors Handout

Exceptions to Copyright

But there are times when you can use a piece of work even though it is copyrighted.

Fair Use

Research, teaching, criticism, reporting and parody are all ocassions when copyrighted material could be used for free, without asking permission from the creator, albeit there are limitations. Fair Use is Section 107 of the Copyright Law.

Fair Use Evaluator (created by American Library Association)

This is the American Library Association's version of the fair use evaluator tool.

Fair Use Guidelines (created by Kirkland Community College Libraries)

Useful guideline that helps you determine fair use for books, multimedia, and music.

Thinking Through Fair Use (created by University of Minnesota Libraries)

A helpful fair use evaluator tool.

Copyright Expiration

Copyright doesn't last forever. After a set amount of time, the copyright expires and the item falls into public domain. Items in the public domain are not subject to any private ownership; anyone can use them for free, without asking permission.

Copyright Term and Public Domain (created by Cornell University Copyright Information Center)

Help determining length of copyright term and whether something is in the public domain

Public Domain Review

Lists of works which have entered the public domain. Includes books, audio, video and images.

Use in Distance Education

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act defines the use of copyrighted materials in specifically distance education classes.

The TEACH Act (created by University of Texas Libraries)

A look at the TEACH Act as determined by copyright law. Includes a handy checklist for Fair Use.

The TEACH Act and some Frequently Asked Questions (created by American Library Association)

Alternatives to Copyright

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Sometime people forgo copyright and designate their work with a Creative Commons license. The creator is purposefully allowing others to use their work.