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Copyright - basics: Educational Multimedia Guidelines

Educational Multimedia Guidelines

Educational Multimedia Guidelines

The guidelines provide guidance for the use, without permission, of portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works.


• The guidelines are intended to apply to educational multimedia projects that incorporate educators' original material, such as course notes or commentary, together with various copyrighted media formats, including motion media, music, text material, and graphics illustrations
• The guidelines are voluntary and do not have the force of law
• If you follow the guidelines, it is highly likely that your use is fair use
• The guidelines are safe minimums
• The newly created work that includes copyrighted material may only be used for learning activities. Other uses, such as selling the work commercially, require permission

Student Guidelines

• Students may incorporate portions of copyrighted materials when producing a project for a specific course
• Students may perform and display their own projects and use them in their portfolio or use the project for job interviews or as supporting materials for application to graduate school

Faculty Guidelines

• Faculty may include portions of copyrighted works when producing their own multimedia project for their teaching in support of curriculum-based instructional activities at educational institutions
• Faculty may use their project for:
• assignments for student self-study
• for remote instruction provided the network is secure and is designed to prevent unlawful copying
• for conferences, presentations, or workshops
• for their professional portfolio

Time Restrictions

• The fair use of copyrighted material in multimedia projects lasts for two years only.
After two years, obtain permission before using the project again.

Types of Media and Permissible amounts

Motion media:
• Up to 10 percent of the total or three minutes, whichever is less
Text material:
• Up to 10 percent of the total or 1,000 words, whichever is less
• 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 authors in an anthology. For poems exceeding 250 words, 250 words should be used but no more than three excerpts from one poet or five excerpts from different poets in the same work
• Music, lyrics, and music video:
• up to 10 percent of the work but no more than 30 seconds of the music or lyrics from an individual musical work
Illustrations or photographs:
• no more than five images from one artist or photographer
• no more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, from a collection
Numerical data sets:
• up to 10 percent or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table
Copying of a multimedia project:
• no more than two copies may be made of a project

When should you get permission?

• When you intend to use the project for commercial or noneducational purposes
• When you intend to duplicate the project beyond the two copies allowed by the guidelines
• When you plan to distribute the project beyond the scope of the guidelines

How Do I Get Permission?

The Office of General Council drafted this sample letter initially. It is now on the University of Texas-Austin, Library site
as Sample written request for permission. This letter makes the safest UT approved template.

For materials to be used outside of UTPB courses, you must obtain permission yourself--i.e. as an individual.

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