Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Decorative SUU library logo

Research Guides

Copyright and Fair Use Statement


Since fair use exceptions are decided on a case-by-case basis in a court of law, the annoying answer of "it depends" most accurately answers each of these questions. However, I know that isn't the answer we're looking for, so I have provided some background information for common situations that arise in college courses, and specifically online courses.

Can I use this copyrighted material in my class?

It depends. Use the FAIR USE CHECKLIST to assess whether your use of copyrighted materials would qualify. Do remember that not all educational uses are covered under the fair use exemption. (Checklist is from BYU for SUU specific checklist please email

Can my librarian help me find copyrighted materials? 

Yes, librarians are research wizards and would be happy to help you find both copyrighted and openly licensed materials to use in your course. Use this list to find your subject librarian! 

Can the librarian help me purchase copyrighted materials for use in my class? 

As with all departments and colleges, the library operates within a strict budget and must balance the interests of many stakeholders. Each subject librarian has a books and materials budget for their liaison areas; use this list to find your subject librarian to see about acquiring materials. 

Can I use a video in my Canvas course?

It depends. Videos can be used in courses under specific circumstances. Linking to out to videos is legal when using services like Kanopy and YouTube. For the use of dvds and other media in courses, please contact Rosie Liljenquist

Can I use pictures from the web?

Anything that has been published in a fixed format is copyrighted, even if it doesn't have the symbol, including pictures. To find images for your course, use Creative Commons Search or to use Google Images select "Tools" then "Usage Rights" to see what is available for modification and reuse. In other instances, requesting permission may be required. 

Can I use article in my Canvas shell?

Remember that links are always legal. Link out to library supported materials or provide the necessary information for students to be able to find the article on their own.  

For better answers to these and more of your questions please contact Rosie Liljenquist