Step 1: Public Domain or Under Copyright?

Determine if the material you want to use is under copyright or in the public domain.

  • Copyright is for a limited time only, and, although the length of copyright has expanded over time, much content is now in the public domain.
  • Remember: Federal publications, and some research paid for by the federal government, is in the public domain.
  • For law, circulars and fact sheets go to: U.S. Copyright Office

Use this slider to determine if the work, you want to use is in the public domain or under copyright:

If it is in the public domain you are able to use it for teaching without obtaining permission or conducting a fair use analysis. You are done!

For all other instances, conduct a Fair Use Analysis.

If under copyright, continue to Step 2.

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