Copyright Compliance Information

Copyright Symbol. All rights reserved.
  • Copyright Information:

    Copyright laws were established to give exclusive rights to creators thereby promoting progress. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to copyright questions. Copyright laws apply to music, writing, images, performing arts, digital content and more. In short, copyright laws prohibit reusing copyrighted works, regardless of giving credit. This means that you may not use music, images, words, videos and more on your website and presentation if the license prohibits this.

    Crash Course in Copyright Guide

    Copyright Quick Guide 


    Legal Information 

    This page was created to provide guidance on copyright information.  All the information is available on the internet and  although we believe it is accurate, it should not be substituted for legal counsel on any copyright questions.  All people are responsible for locating and complying with copyright licensing.  This organization will not be held responsible for any third party copyright infringement.  


      Different types of licenses

     Copyright ownership allows the owner of the copyrighted work to share, modify, distribute,display or perform the work. However, even if you are the creator of the work, you may not be the copyright owner if it was created as a work for hire or part of an employment agreement. 


    Public Domain refers to creative works with no copyright licensing.This may be due to copyright being waived, expired, or inapplicable. On January 1 of every year more works are added to the public domain. Derivative works of public domain material may be copyrighted.


    Open Source refers to many different types of licenses that were created to further the advancement of information sharing, generally computer source code, by not having a copyright. This is sometimes referred to as "Copyleft". For more information click here


    Creative Commons licenses refers to licenses which allow works to be used and modified as long as the user abides by the terms and conditions of the license. Under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License you are free to: Share and adapt. This means you can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. You can also remix, transform and build upon the material for any purpose. To share the Creative Commons licensed material, you must give attribution (proper credit) and notices found here.  (The top image on this page is licensed under Creative Commons.) 


    Fair Use and Classroom Exemption

    Fair Use allows for some use of copyrighted material for educational purposes.  There isn't a clear set of rules or definition for fair use.  This video, here, is concise and clear about fair use. Many refer to the Four Factor Test as a guide for determining if the usage of a work would fall under fair use. Works permitted by fair use in classroom instruction are also allowable in secured online courses, that is a course that would require a login and password to access.

    Four Factor Test:

    • The Purpose and Character of the Use
    • The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
    • The Amount or Substantiality of the Portion Used
    • The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for or Value of the Work

    For more information on the Four Factors click here

    Copyright law can be found here

    This links to a guide for use of Copyrighted materials in the classroom. Reproduction of Copyright Works by Educators and Librarians


    Classroom Exemption allows for use beyond fair use for certain performances and displays.  This use is not allowable for online courses. To qualify, it must meet all five of these requirements:

    • used in a nonprofit educational institution

    • used in a classroom

    • used for a regular part of instruction (can't be a movie shown for a reward)

    • is directly related to the teaching content 

    • used for a person who is disabled or unable to attend class due to special circumstances

    Information taken from


    TEACH  Act refers to law that allows lawful uses of copyrighted materials in distance education and online courses. TEACH act FAQs from the American Library Association can be found here.




    Subscription Resources

    The OHM Media program provides access to several subscription digital resources through our online platform,SNAP  These resources can be used by teachers and students, in the classroom, online (with password protection) and at home.   


    The OHM Media program now provides every school in the media program a Movie License USA  Public Performance Site License allowing them to legally show movies* in their school building at any time.  *Although many movie publishers are covered under this license, including Disney and Dreamworks, be sure to check if the movie you want to show is covered. 


    Resources available through SLS

    There are more copyright compliant resources available through the Digital Resources CoSer.  Britannica Image Quest allows teachers and students to use their images on websites and online presentations. Please call 315-793-8505 to inquire about a resource.


    Free Resources

    Project Gutenberg is a database of over 57,000 ebooks that are in the public domain

    OER Open educational resources

    Creative Commons Resources

    Royalty Free Music at ccmixter

    Royalty Free Clip Art here     (Images below are from this site)                                       

           youtube symbol                                                copyright bomb


    Youtube and Teachertube

    If you are using these in your classroom, you may be violating copyright law. Individuals post digital media to these sites, many times in violation of copyright law. Please see our Guide for Youtube in the Classroom for more information



    Attribution and Citations

    Best Practices from Webster University

    Purdue University's Online Writing Lab