Copyright Guide

Last Updated: 08/23/2019 09:30

Keep it SIMPLE — link whenever possible!

In most cases, you can eliminate the need for permission or fees by simply providing a link to the web page which contains the work instead of making copies of it.  This includes online resources available through the UNT Libraries.  (Please note: it is always safer and more preferable to link to the web page containing the work rather than linking directly to a work, such as an image or PDF, as linking directly to a work my confuse students as to ownership/authorship.)

What about when linking won't do?

You still have options!

Please next refer to our "Dos & Don'ts" primer here, to get a general idea of the ways in which copyrighted works may be used, before exploring the technical details of copyright exceptions below.

Fair Use
When the circumstances might reasonably be judged as fair use or protected under the Teach Act rules, you can use copyrighted works in your teaching without obtaining permission.

Teach Act
Section 110(1) of the Copyright Law of the US allows for teaching performances and displays of protected works in a face-to-face classroom setting.

Creative Commons
Because creators routinely offer their works directly to others on the web, Creative Commons devised tools to provide standardized methods of granting copyright permissions to their creative work.

Course Reserves
If you can’t link to an online resource available through the UNT Libraries, consider using the Libraries’ course reserves service for print and digital material.

Public Domain
Works in the public domain aren't protected by copyright, so you can use them freely.

Learn Best Practices!

Refer to the Dos & Don'ts Checklist for advice on how to handle different copyright situations.

Tips for How to Use Specific Media

Who can you talk to for advice and help?


  • Search these multiple sources to Locate Usable Works — text, images, videos, audio
  • Use the Avoiding Risk Table for determining risk in using others' works
  • Research in-depth information from other external sources in Resources