Fair Use, Copyright, and Creative Commons

In the Liberal Arts

Getting started?

  • This outline by Brad Belbas of Macalester College is a useful, accessible site to start exploring Fair Use and Creative Commons resources for Digital Storytelling.
  • Head of Scholarly Communication at Stony Brook University, Darren Chase, assembled a handy guide to navigating media rights here.
  • The University of Minnesota also offers an overview of Fair Use, including a simple, student-friendly form that weighs the likelihood of material meeting Fair Use guidelines.

Fair Use

  • Click here to learn more about Fair Use from Copyright.gov.
  •  This Fair Use decision tree diagram helps to determine whether media created for a class project can be posted publicly when finished.


  • A copyright grants to its owner the right to control an intellectual or artistic creation, including the right to profit from others using the work in specific ways without permission or from the sale and performance of the work. Copyright protection extends not only to copies of the written word and recordings of sound, but to visual images such as photographs, animated images, motion pictures, or videotapes. It also includes taped live performances. (Chase, 2017)
  • Check out the Copyright.gov website’s FAQ page and the Copyright Advisory Network’s website for more information.

Creative Commons