Copyright Compliance 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. 

    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 refer to licenses that 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.

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 definitions for fair use. This VIDEO is concise and clear about fair use. Many refer to the Four Factor Test as a guide for determining if the usage of 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 CLICK HERE.

    Fair Use Law

    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 is taken from Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences


    TEACH Act refers to the 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.

    Copyright: Summary of the Report on Digital Distance Education


  • 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 with 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.