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Images: A Guide

Research guide to assist you in finding images. Focuses on online collections of images.

Information v. Advice

Information:  Librarians are prepared to direct faculty to information sources about copyright guidelines and the fair use of copyrighted materials for academic purposes.  See the library's Collections Contacts list to locate the contact info for the librarian liaison to your academic department or discipline. 

Copyright Advice:  Librarians are not qualified to interpret the law or to advise faculty about whether a particular use of copyrighted material is legal in a particular context.  For advice about the application of copyright to a planned use, faculty should contact Tulane's Office of the General Counsel, 300 Gibson Hall, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698. Phone: (504)865-5783.

Fair Use

Excerpt from Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Videos:

Fair use is flexible; it is not uncertain or unreliable. In fact, for any particular field of critical or creative activity, lawyers and judges consider expectations and practice in assessing what is “fair” within the field. In weighing the balance at the heart of fair use analysis, judges refer to four types of considerations mentioned in the law: the nature of the use, the nature of the work used, the extent of the use and its economic effect. This still leaves much room for interpretation, especially since the law is clear that these are not the only necessary considerations. In reviewing the history of fair use litigation, we find that judges return again and again to two key questions:

  • Did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original?

  • Was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?

Both questions touch on, among other things, the question of whether the use will cause excessive economic harm to the copyright owner.

If the answers to these two questions are “yes,” a court is likely to find a use fair. Because that is true, such a use is unlikely to be challenged in the first place.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.