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Copyright and Fair Use

Topic Guide that provides information on copyright and fair use, as it pertains to students, faculty, also in relation to Special Collections, DigitalCommons and Course Reserves

Using Images

You may wish to use an image created by someone else in your work, and while for educational uses this may fall under fair use, for many purposes including digital and print publication you will want to determine if you need to seek permission to use the image.  Below are some links that will help guide you in that determination.

Images: Copyright vs. Licensing

In many cases an image may seem to be in the public domain but is actually licensed to another entity for specific uses.  This is often the case for images found in licensed databases. In most cases, you will need to write to the institution that owns the physical image and request permission to publish it. There is often a fee associated with acquiring permission to publish. 


ARTstor has very clearly-worded permissions statements for each image and also lists the licensing entity, as do other databases.

Below is a link to an example of an institutional statement from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art as well as a link to the Wikimedia Commons, where you can search for online images that have clear statements of rights under Creative Commons licensing.

Using Film and Streaming Media In the Classroom

Streaming video content licensed by and available through Kennedy Library is fully available to stream in a classroom setting.  (Be aware that permissions for public screenings in most cases need to be obtained separately.) It is considered a best practice to list course-required videos on Kennedy Library's Course Reserves. 

Caution: Personal streaming accounts with providers such as, but not limited to, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are liable to user agreements and these agreements often prohibit an activity such as streaming a movie in a classroom.  Please review your user agreement to ensure that your use is legal.

Embedding Videos

All of the library's streaming videos are licensed for classroom use.  While adding a video to course reserves remains the best practice, it is also possible to embed streaming videos directly in Canvas.

The process is similar for each of the library's streaming video collections:

Getting Permissions for Film

The entities listed below can be contacted for obtaining public performance licensing rights to numerous non-theatrical entities including U.S. colleges and universities.