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Copyright Reminder

Many common campus activities involve copyright, and so it is critical that all Stanford faculty, students and staff have a working understanding of copyright law as it impacts their daily lives.  The Stanford University Libraries provide this Copyright Reminder to ensure that all members of the Stanford community have access to that critical information.  The Copyright Reminder highlights common campus copyright concerns, and outlines the fundamental elements of US copyright law that apply in those situations.

Classroom use of media

The Conference on Fair Use established the following guidelines for in-class presentations:

"Educators may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia programs."

  • No more than 10 percent or 3 minutes (whichever is less) of motion-based works;
  • No more than 10 percent or 30 seconds (whichever is less) of a song or video;
  • No more than 10 percent of a text; and
  • Entire photographs or illustrations may be used, provided that no more than 10 percent or 15 images (whichever is less) comes from any one source.

For in-class presentations that will not be posted online publicly, these guidelines are recommendations and are not set in stone. But they do not apply to any presentation that is to be posted onto the Internet or sold commercially. Posting to the Internet even a single copyrighted image within a presentation, such as a political cartoon, may not be a fair use. For publicly displayed content, refer to the Stanford online course guidelines.