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Copyright & Fair Use: Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) Guidelines

Media Librarian

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Farhad Moshiri
Library-Room 205
Media Collection, Music Collection, Copyright. Library liaison to Music Department.

Defination & Guideline

1998 Conference on Fair Use (CONFU)


These are guidelines and not law and that they do not define Fair Use as fair use is defined by a particular and specific use.


This conference resulted in drafting a set of guidelines (not legally binding) for digital educational multimedia projects in which the instructors or students use copyrighted materials in creating their own multimedia materials.

The “Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia” of 1998 were drafted by a diverse group of interested parties. They agreed upon interpretation of the fair use provisions of the Copyright Act are currently endorsed by twenty-three associations including the U.S. Copyright Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They are not legally binding; however, they do define the educational audience and provide the following guidelines:

Definition: Educational multimedia, as it relates to these guidelines, incorporate students' or educators' original material, such as course notes or commentary, together with various copyrighted media formats including but not limited to motion media, music, text material, graphics, illustrations, photographs and digital software which are combined into an integrated presentation.

Giving Credit: Educators and students are reminded to credit the sources and display the copyright ownership information if this is shown on the original source.

Appropriateness of Use: Educators may use their own educational multimedia projects, created for curriculum-based instruction in face-to-face instruction, student-directed self-study, remote instruction (must be password protected access limited to the enrolled students only), peer conferences, and for their own professional portfolio. Students may perform and display their own multimedia projects in the courses for which they were created and may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work.

Time Frame: Educators may use their multimedia projects for up to two years after the first use in their class.

Amount of Material: This refers to the amount of a copyrighted work that can be used in educational multimedia projects: motion pictures (up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less); text material (up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less); music (up to 10% but no more than 30 seconds); illustrations/photographs (no more than five images by the same artist/photographer can be reproduced in their entirety and no more than 15 images is allowed from collective works); numerical data sets (up to 10% or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less).

Distribution: There may be no more than two use copies made of the educational multimedia project. One may be placed on reserve for remote instruction; a second can be made for back-up.

Staff LADR