Some guidelines to help you with copyright and fair use

Understanding copyright and fair use can help you avoid two things that are highly detrimental to publishing: costly litigation and self-censorship.

When you are considering using someone else's work, here are some questions to help you with next steps.

  • Do you need permission? Is this work protected under copyright, or is it in the public domain?
  • If the work is copyrighted, ask: Who owns this work? How are you going to get permission to use it?
  • What rights do you need to have to use the work?
  • Does it have some protection from Creative Commons?
  • Does the original creator require attribution?

Taken from Copyright Law and Fair Use for Journalists, a self-directed course by Catherine Cameron and Ellyn Angelotti Kamke at Poynter NewsU.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.


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