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A Quick Guide to Copyright and Multimedia Usage

Copyright for Multimedia: Guidelines from http://depts.washington.edu/uwcopy/Using_Copyright/Guidelines/Fair.php

4. LIMITATIONS - TIME, PORTION, COPYING AND DISTRIBUTION 

The preparation of educational multimedia projects incorporating copyrighted works 

under Section 2, and the use of such projects under Section 3, are subject to the 

limitations noted below. 

4.1 Time Limitations 

Educators may use their educational multimedia projects created for educational 

purposes under Section 2 of these guidelines for teaching courses, for a period of up to 

two years after the first instructional use with a class. Use beyond that time period, even 

for educational purposes, requires permission for each copyrighted portion incorporated 

in the production. Students may use their educational multimedia projects as noted in 

Section 3.1. 

4.2 Portion Limitations 

Portion limitations mean the amount of a copyrighted work that can reasonably be used 

in educational multimedia projects under these guidelines regardless of the original 

medium from which the copyrighted works are taken. In the aggregate means the total 

amount of copyrighted material from a single copyrighted work that is permitted to be 

used in an educational multimedia project without permission under these guidelines. 

These limitations apply cumulatively to each educator's or student's multimedia 

project(s) for the same academic semester, cycle or term. All students should be 

instructed about the reasons for copyright protection and the need to follow these 

guidelines. It is understood, however, that students in kindergarten through grade six 

may not be able to adhere rigidly to the portion limitations in this section in their 

independent development of educational multimedia projects. In any event, each such 

project retained under Sections 3.1 and 4.3 should comply with the portion limitations in 

this section. 

4.2.1 Motion Media 

Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted 

motion media work may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an 

educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. 

4.2.2 Text Material 

Up to 10% or 1000 words, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted 

work consisting of text material may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as 

part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these 

guidelines. An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more 

than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any 

anthology may be used. For poems of greater length, 250 words may be used 

but no more than three excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets 

from a single anthology may be used. 

4.2.3 Music, Lyrics, and Music Video 

Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from 

an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual

work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual 

works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia 

project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not 

change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work. 

4.2.4 Illustrations and Photographs 

The reproduction or incorporation of photographs and illustrations is more 

difficult to define with regard to fair use because fair use usually precludes the 

use of an entire work. Under these guidelines a photograph or illustration may 

be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer 

may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational 

multimedia project created under Section 2. When using photographs and 

illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, 

whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an 

educational multimedia project created under Section 2. 

4.2.5 Numerical Data Sets 

Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted 

database or data table may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of 

an educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. A 

field entry is defined as a specific item of information, such as a name or Social 

Security number, in a record of a database file. A cell entry is defined as the 

intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet.