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LP English - Design Research Project: Copyright - Music, Sounds, Video and Images that You Can Use

This guide gathers together information for the LP English Design Project.

Copyright and Fair Use

Best practice for using music, video and images in your assignments is to choose material that has either a Creative Commons license or has been designated by the owner of the creative work, that it is available for use.  Even when we have permission to use the source, we need to give an attribution to the owner.  We do this in the form of a citation in your Works Cited and if it's a Creative Commons, an attribution

Copyright in Brief

Assume everything you use is protected by copyright law—even if there is no copyright notice.

  • Copyright owners receive certain rights as soon as the work is created.
  • Copyright owners provide licenses to people who want to use their works.
  • Copyright exceptions allow educators and others to use limited portions of protected works without obtaining permission, and sometimes without obtaining a license

Copyright Exceptions:

  • Classroom Teaching Exception
  • Fair Use

Copyright, Citation and Attribution

All copyrighted materials need to be cited or given attribution.  This includes material used in essays, projects, websites, presentations, Google Classroom, videos, posters, etc. Guidelines on MLA style for Robert College staff and students can be found on our Academic Honesty page here.   A comparison between citation and attribution, can be found here

Can I Use...

Are you making a presentation, creating a website or documentary, and want to use someone else's work? These are some questions you need to ask yourself.

Using someone's text:

  • Is the text in the public domain?
  • Is the text licensed under a Creative Commons or similar license?
  • Does your use fall under fair use?
  • Do you have permission from the rights holder?

Using someone's Photos and Images:

  • Who owns the copyright?  
  • Is the image in the public domain?
  • Is the image licensed under a Creative Commons or similar license?
  • Does your use fall under fair use?
  • Do you have permission from the rights holder(s)?

Using someone's music Composition:

  • Who owns the copyright? Sometimes it's the publisher and sometimes it's the composer.
  • Is the composition in the public domain?
  • Is the composition licensed under a Creative Commons or similar license?
  • Does your use fall under fair use?
  • Do you have permission from the rights holder(s)?