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Research Guides@Tufts

Multimedia Production Guide

for the Digital Design Studio at Tisch Library

Images, audio & video

This section of the guide lists source for finding media - images, video & audio - that you can download to use in projects. Many are sources that are public domain (not in copyright) or have an open license that allow reuse (such as Creative Commons) so that you can use them freely in your project without needing to seek permission.

If you'd like to use media under copyright that doesn't have an open license, you should consider a four factor fair use analysis. See the box below for more information, or use this handy checklist from Columbia.

Fair Use

Fair Use is built into the copyright law to address the tensions between the rights given to the copyright holder and freedom of speech.  If you want to use copyrighted material without requesting permission from the copyright holder, you must engage in a four factor Fair Use analysis. 

Tufts' policy is that it is up to you to decide if the use may be fair or not based on the Four Factor analysis, however, help is available! Contact Andrea Schuler, Copyright & Open Scholarship Librarian, with any questions.

1) Purpose and character of the use

  • Is your use a non-profit educational use?
  • Is it "transformative"?  Does your use add "new meaning, expression, or message" to the original copyrighted work (Gerhardt and Wessel 59)?

2) Nature of the copyrighted work

  • Is the original creative or more factual in nature?  Using creative works is considered less fair than more factual works.
  • Is the work unpublished or widely published?  Using unpublished works is considered less fair than widely published works.

3) Amount

  • Is the amount appropriate to the use? 
  • Did you use just what was necessary to get your point across?

4) Market Impact

  • Would the original copyright holder be negatively impacted by your use?
  • Is there a market to license the use?

Aufderheide and Jaszi, in their book Reclaiming Fair Use, argue that while you need to ask yourself all four questions to conduct a Fair Use analysis, the courts have shown they are most interested in the answers to the following three questions (24).

  • Is your use transformative?
  • Is the amount you are using of the original copyrighted work appropriate to your use? 
  • Is your use consistent with the norms of your community?