TABLE OF CONTENTS:
2. Image Digitization and Use by Educational Institutions.
3. Use by Educators, Scholars, and Students.
4. Image Digitization by Educators, Scholars, and Students for Spontaneous Use.
5. Important Reminders and Fair Use Limitations Under These Guidelines.
6. Transition Period for Pre-Existing Analog Image Collections.
Appendix A: Organizations Endorsing These Guidelines.
Appendix B: Organizations Participating
in Development of These Guidelines.
Fair use is a legal principle that
provides certain limitations on the exclusive rights 2 of
copyright holders. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance on the
application of fair use principles by educational institutions, educators,
scholars, and students who wish to digitize copyrighted visual images under fair
use rather than by seeking authorization from the copyright owners for
non-commercial educational purposes. These guidelines apply to fair use only in
the context of copyright.
There is no simple test to determine what is fair use. Section 107 of the Copyright Act 3 sets forth the four fair use factors which should be assessed in each instance, based on the particular facts of a given case, to determine whether a use is a "fair use": (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes, (2) the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. While only the courts can authoritatively determine whether a particular use is fair use, these guidelines represent the endorsers' consensus of conditions under which fair use should generally apply and examples of when permission is required. Uses that exceed these guidelines may or may not be fair use. The endorsers also agree that the more one exceeds these guidelines, the greater the risk that fair use does not apply.
The limitations and conditions set
forth in these guidelines do not apply to works in the public domain-- such as
U.S. government works or works on which copyright has expired for which there
are no copyright restrictions-- or to works for which the individual or
institution has obtained permission for the particular use. Also, license
agreements may govern the uses of some works and users should refer to the
applicable license terms for guidance.
The participants who developed these
guidelines met for an extended period of time and the result represents their
collective understanding in this complex area. Because digital technology is in
a dynamic phase, there may come a time when it is necessary to review the
guidelines. Nothing in these guidelines should be construed to apply to the fair
use privilege in any context outside of educational and scholarly uses of
digital images. These guidelines do not cover non-educational or commercial
digitization or use at any time, even by non-profit educational institutions.
These guidelines are not intended to cover fair use of copyrighted works in
other educational contexts such as educational multimedia projects,4distance
education, or electronic reserves, which may be addressed in other fair use
This Preamble is an integral part of
these guidelines and should be included whenever the guidelines are reprinted or
adopted by organizations and educational institutions. Users are encouraged to
reproduce and distribute these guidelines freely without permission; no
copyright protection of these guidelines is claimed by any person or entity.
1.2 Background: Rights in Visual Images.
As photographic and electronic
technology has advanced, the making of high-quality reproductions of visual
images has become easier, cheaper, and more widely accessible. However, the fact
that images may be easily available does not automatically mean they can be
reproduced and reused without permission. Confusion regarding intellectual
property rights in visual images arises from the many ways that images are
created and the many sources that may be related to any particular image.
Clearing permission, when necessary, requires identifying the holder of the
applicable rights. Determining all the holders of the rights connected with an
image requires an understanding of the source of the image, the content
portrayed, and the creation of the image, both for original visual images and
for reproductions of images.
Visual images can be original works or reproductions of other works; in some cases, original works may incorporate reproductions of other works as well. Often, a digital image is several generations removed from the visual image it reproduces. For example, a digital image of a painting may have been scanned from a slide, which was copied from a published book that contained a printed repro-
duction of the work of art; this reproduction may have been made from a color transparency photographed directly from the original painting. There may be intellectual property rights in the original painting, and each additional stage of reproduction in this chain may involve another layer of rights.
A digital image can be an original
visual image, a reproduction, a published reproduction, or a copy of a published
reproduction. An original visual image is a work of art or an original work of
authorship (or a part of a work), fixed in digital or analog form and expressed
in a visual medium. Examples include graphic, sculptural, and architectural
works, as well as stills from motion pictures or other audio-visual works. A
reproduction is a copy of an original visual image in digital or analog form.
The most common forms of reproductions are photographic, including prints, 35mm
slides, and color transparencies. The original visual image shown in a
reproduction is often referred to as the "underlying work." Digital images can
be reproductions of either original visual images or of other reproductions. A
published reproduction is a reproduction of an original visual image appearing
in a work distributed in copies and made available to the public by sale or
other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending. Examples include a
plate in an exhibition catalog that reproduces a work of art, and a digital
image appearing in a CD-ROM or online. A copy of a published reproduction is a
subsequent copy made of a published reproduction of an original visual image,
for example, a 35mm slide which is a copy of an image in a book.
The rights in images in each of these
layers may be held by different rightsholders; obtaining rights to one does not
automatically grant rights to use another, and therefore all must be considered
when analyzing the rights connected with an image. Rights to use images will
vary depending not only on the identities of the layers of rightsholders, but
also on other factors such as the terms of any bequest or applicable license.
1.3 Applicability of These Guidelines.
These guidelines apply to the creation
of digital images and their use for educational purposes. The guidelines cover
(1) pre-existing analog image collections and (2) newly acquired analog visual
images. These guidelines do not apply to images acquired in digital form, or to
images in the public domain, or to works for which the user has obtained the
relevant and necessary rights for the particular use.
Only lawfully acquired copyrighted analog images (including original visual images, reproductions, published reproductions, and copies of published reproductions) may be digitized pursuant to these
guidelines. These guidelines apply only to educational institutions, educators, scholars, students, and
image collection curators engaging in instructional, research, or scholarly activities at educational
institutions for educational purposes.
Educational institutions are defined as
nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is supporting the nonprofit
instructional, research, and scholarly activities of educators, scholars, and
students. Ex- amples of educational institutions include K-12 schools, colleges,
and universities; libraries, museums, hospitals, and other nonprofit
institutions also are considered educational institutions under this definition
when they engage in nonprofit instructional, research, or scholarly activities
for educa- tional purposes. Educational purposes are defined as non-commercial
instruction or curriculum-based teaching by educators to students at nonprofit
educational institutions, and research and scholarly activities, defined as
planned non-commercial study or investigation directed toward making a
contribution to a field of knowledge and non-commercial presentation of research
findings at peer conferences, workshops, or seminars.
Educators are faculty, teachers,
instructors, curators, librarians, archivists, or professional staff who engage
in instructional, research, or scholarly activities for educational purposes as
their assigned responsibilities at educational institutions; independent
scholars also are considered educators under this definition when they offer
courses at educational institutions. Students are participants in instructional,
research, or scholarly activities for educational purposes at educational
A digital image is a visual work stored
in binary code (bits and bytes). Examples include bitmapped images (encoded as a
series of bits and bytes each representing a particular pixel or part of the
image) and vector graphics (encoded as equations and/or algorithms representing
lines and curves). An analog image collection is an assemblage of analog visual
images systematically maintained by an educational institution for educational
purposes in the form of slides, photographs, or other stand-alone visual media.
A pre-existing analog image collection is one in existence as of [December 31,
1996]. A newly acquired analog visual image is one added to an institutionís
collection after [December 31, 1996].
A visual online catalog is a database
consisting of thumbnail images of an institutionís lawfully acquired image
collection, together with any descriptive text including, for example,
provenance and rights information that is searchable by a number of fields, such
as source. A thumbnail image, as used in a visual online catalog or image
browsing display to enable visual identification of records in an educational
institutionís image collection, is a small scale, typically low resolution,
digital reproduction which has no intrinsic commercial or reproductive value.
2. IMAGE DIGITIZATION AND USE BY
This Section covers digitization by
educational institutions of newly acquired analog visual images and Section 6
covers digitization of pre-existing analog image collections. Refer to the
applicable section depending on whether you are digitizing newly acquired or
pre-existing analog visual works.
2.1 Digitizing by Institutions: Newly Acquired Analog Visual Images.
An educational institution may digitize newly, lawfully, acquired analog visual images to support the permitted educational uses under these guidelines unless such images are readily available in usable
digital form for purchase or license at
a fair price. Images that are readily available in usable digital form for
purchase or license at a fair price should not be digitized for addition to an
institutional image collection without permission.
2.2 Creating Thumbnail Images.
An educational institution may create
thumbnail images of lawfully acquired images for inclusion in a visual catalog
for use at the institution. These thumbnail images may be combined with
descriptive text in a visual catalog that is searchable by a number of fields,
such as the source.
2.3 Access, Display, and Distribution on an Institutionís Secure Electronic Network.
Subject to the time limitations in
Section 2.4, an educational institution may display and provide access to images
digitized under these guidelines through its own secure electronic network. When
displaying digital images on such networks, an educational institution should
implement technological controls and institutional policies to protect the
rights of copyright owners, and use best efforts to make users aware of those
rights. In addition, the educational institution must provide notice stating
that digital images on its secure electronic network shall not be downloaded,
copied, retained, printed, shared, modified, or otherwise used, except as
provided for in the permitted educational uses under these guidelines.
2.3.1 Visual online catalog: An
educational institution may display a visual online catalog, which includes the
thumbnail images created as part of the institution's digitization process, on
the institution's secure electronic network, and may provide access to such
catalog by educators, scholars, and students affiliated with the educational
2.3.2 Course compilations of digital
images: An educational institution may display an educatorís compilation of
digital images (see also Section 3.1.2) on the institutionís secure electronic
network for classroom use, after-class review, or directed study, provided that
there are technological limitations (such as a password or PIN) restricting
access only to students enrolled in the course. The institution may display such
images on its secure electronic network only during the semester or term in
which that academic course is given.
2.3.3 Access, display, and distribution beyond the institutionís secure electronic network: Electronic access to, or display or distribution of, images digitized under these guidelines, including the thumbnail images in the institution's visual online catalog, is not permitted beyond the institution's own electronic network, even for educational purposes. However, those portions of the visual online catalog which do not contain images digitized under these guidelines, such as public domain images
and text, may be accessed, displayed,
or distributed beyond the institution's own secure electronic network.
2.4 Time Limitations for Use of Images Digitized by Institutions from Newly Acquired Analog Visual Images.
An educational institution may use and
retain in digital image collections images which are digitized from newly
acquired analog visual images under these guidelines, as long as the retention
and use comply with the following conditions:
2.4.1 Images digitized from a known
source and not readily available in usable digital form for purchase or license
at a fair price may be used for one academic term and may be retained in digital
form while permission is being sought. Permission is required for uses beyond
the initial use; if permission is not received, any use is outside the scope of
these guidelines and subject to the four-factor fair use analysis (see Section
2.4.2 Where the rightsholder of an
image is unknown, a digitized image may be used for up to 3 years from first
use, provided that a reasonable inquiry (see Section 5.2) is conducted by the
institution seeking permission to digitize, retain, and reuse the digitized
image. If, after 3 years, the educational institution is unable to identify
sufficient information to seek permission, any further use of the image is
outside the scope of these guidelines and subject to the four-factor fair use
analysis (see Section 1.1).
3. USE BY EDUCATORS, SCHOLARS, AND
Subject to the time limitations in
Section 2.4, images digitized under these guidelines may be used by educators,
scholars, and students as follows:
3.1 Educator Use of Images Digitized
Under These Guidelines.
3.1.1 An educator may display digital
images for educational purposes, including face-to-face teaching of
curriculum-based courses, and research and scholarly activities at a non-profit
3.1.2 An educator may compile digital
images for display on the institutionís secure electronic network (see also
Section 2.3.2) to students enrolled in a course given by that educator for
classroom use, after-class review, or directed study, during the semester or
term in which the educator's related course is given.
3.2 Use of Images for Peer Conferences.
Educators, scholars, and students may use or display digital images in connection with lectures or presentations in their fields, including uses at non-commercial professional development seminars,
workshops, and conferences where
educators meet to discuss issues relevant to their disciplines or present works
they created for educational purposes in the course of research, study, or
3.3 Use of Images for Publications.
These guidelines do not cover
reproducing and publishing images in publications, including scholarly
publications in print or digital form, for which permission is generally
required. Before publishing any images under fair use, even for scholarly and
critical purposes, scholars and scholarly publishers should conduct the
four-factor fair use analysis (see Section 1.1).
3.4 Student Use of Images Digitized Under These Guidelines.
- Use digital images in an academic course assignment such as a term paper or thesis, or in fulfillment of degree requirements.
- Publicly display their academic work incorporating digital images in courses for which they are registered and during formal critiques at a nonprofit educational institution.
- Retain their academic work in their personal portfolios for later uses such as graduate school and employment applications.
Other student uses are outside the
scope of these guidelines and are subject to the four-factor fair use analysis
(see Section 1.1).
4. IMAGE DIGITIZATION BY EDUCATORS,
SCHOLARS, AND STUDENTS FOR SPONTANEOUS USE:
Educators, scholars, and students may
digitize lawfully acquired images to support the permitted educational uses
under these guidelines if the inspiration and decision to use the work and the
moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that
it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.
Images digitized for spontaneous use do not automatically become part of the
institution's image collection. Permission must be sought for any reuse of such
digitized images or their addition to the institutionís image collection.
5. IMPORTANT REMINDERS AND FAIR USE
LIMITATIONS UNDER THESE GUIDELINES:
5.1 Creation of Digital Image Collections.
When digitizing copyrighted images, as
permitted under these guidelines, an educational institution should
simultaneously conduct the process of seeking permission to retain and use the
Where the rightsholder is unknown, the
institution should pursue and is encouraged to keep records of its reasonable
inquiry (see Section 5.2). Rightsholders and others who are contacted are
encouraged to respond promptly to inquiries.
5.2 Reasonable Inquiry.
A reasonable inquiry by an institution
for the purpose of clearing rights to digitize and use digital images includes,
but is not limited to, conducting each of the following steps: (1) checking any
information within the control of the educational institution, including slide
catalogs and logs, regarding the source of the image; (2) asking relevant
faculty, departmental staff, and librarians, including visual resource
collections administrators, for any information regarding the source of the
image; (3) consulting standard reference publications and databases for
information regarding the source of the image; and (4) consulting rights
reproduction collectives and/or major professional associations representing
image creators in the appropriate medium.
5.3 Attribution and Acknowledgment.
Educators, scholars, and students
should credit the sources and display the copyright notice(s) with any copyright
ownership information shown in the original source, for all images digitized by
educators, scholars, and students, including those digitized under fair use.
Crediting the source means adequately identifying the source of the work, giving
a full bibliographic description where available (including the creator/author,
title, publisher, and place and date of publication) or citing the electronic
address if the work is from a network source. Educators, scholars, and students
should retain any copyright notice or other proprietary rights notice placed by
the copyright owner or image archive or collection on the digital image, unless
they know that the work has entered the public domain or that the copyright
ownership has changed. In those cases when source credits and copyright
ownership information cannot be displayed on the screen with the image for
educational reasons (e.g., during examinations), this information should still
be linked to the image.
5.4 Licenses and Contracts.
Institutions should determine whether
specific images are subject to a license or contract; a license or contract may
limit the uses of those images.
5.5 Portions from Single Sources Such as Published Compilations or Motion Pictures.
When digitizing and using individual
images from a single source such as a published compilation (including but not
limited to books, slide sets, and digital image collections), or individual
frames from motion pictures or other audiovisual works, institutions and
individuals should be aware that fair use limits the number and substantiality
of the images that may be used from a single source. In addition, a separate
copyright in a compilation may exist. Further, fair use requires consideration
of the effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted
work. The greater the number and substantiality of images taken from a single
source, the greater the risk that the use will not be fair use.
5.6 Portions of Individual Images.
Although the use of entire works is
usually not permitted under fair use, it is generally appropriate to use images
in their entirety in order to respect the integrity of the original visual
image, as long as the limitations on use under these guidelines are in place.
For purposes of electronic display, however, portions of an image may be used to
highlight certain details of the work for educational purposes as long as the
full image is displayed or linked to the portion.
5.7 Integrity of Images: Alterations.
In order to maintain the integrity of
copyrighted works, educators, scholars, and students are advised to exercise
care when making any alterations in a work under fair use for educational
purposes such as criticism, comment, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Furthermore, educators, scholars, and students should note the nature of any
changes they make to original visual images when producing their own digital
5.8 Caution in Downloading Images from Other Electronic Sources.
Educators, scholars, and students are
advised to exercise caution in using digital images downloaded from other
sources, such as the Internet. Such digital environments contain a mix of works
protected by copyright and works in the public domain, and some copyrighted
works may have been posted to the Internet without authorization of the
6. TRANSITION PERIOD FOR PRE-EXISTING
ANALOG IMAGE COLLECTIONS:
Pre-existing visual resource
collections in educational institutions (referred to in these guidelines as
"pre-existing analog image collections") often consist of tens of thousands of
images which have been acquired from a wide variety of sources over a period of
many years. Many pre-existing collections lack adequate source information for
older images and standards for accession practices are still evolving. In
addition, publishers and vendors may no longer be in business, and information
about specific images may no longer be available. For many images there may also
be several layers of rightsholders: the rights in an original visual image are
separate from rights in a reproduction of that image and may be held by
different rightsholders. All these factors complicate the process of locating
rightsholders, and seeking permissions for pre-existing collections will be
painstaking and time consuming.
However, there are significant
educational benefits to be gained if pre-existing analog image collections can
be digitized uniformly and systematically. Digitization will allow educators to
employ new technologies using the varied and numerous images necessary in their
current curricula. At the same time, rightsholders and educational institutions
have concerns that images in some collections may have been acquired without
permission or may be subject to restricted uses. In either case, there may be
rightsholders whose rights and interests are affected by digitization and other
The approach agreed upon by the
representatives who developed these guidelines is to permit educational
institutions to digitize lawfully acquired images as a collection and to begin
using such images for educational purposes. At the same time, educational
institutions should begin to identify the rightsholders and seek permission to
retain and use the digitized images for future educational purposes. Continued
use depends on the institutions' making a reasonable inquiry (see Section 5.2)
to clear the rights in the digitized image. This approach seeks to strike a
reasonable balance and workable solution for copyright holders and users who
otherwise may not agree on precisely what constitutes fair use in the digital
6.2 Digitizing by Institutions: Images
in Pre-Existing Analog Image Collections.
6.2.1 Educational institutions may
digitize images from pre-existing analog image collections during a reasonable
transition period of 7 years (the approximate useful life of a slide) from
[December 31, 1996]. In addition, educators, scholars, and students may begin to
use those digitized images during the transition period to support the
educational uses under these guidelines. When digitizing images during the
transition period, institutions should simultaneously begin seeking the
permission to digitize, retain, and reuse all such digitized images.
6.2.2 Digitization from pre-existing
analog image collections is subject to limitations on portions from single
sources such as published compilations or motion pictures (see Section 5.5).
Section 6 of these guidelines should not be interpreted to permit the systematic
digitization of images from an educational institution's collections of books,
films, or periodicals as part of any methodical process of digitizing images
from the institution's pre-existing analog image collection during the
6.2.3 If, after a reasonable inquiry (see Section 5.2), an educational institution is unable to identify sufficient information to seek appropriate permission during the transition period, continued retention
and use is outside the scope of these
guidelines and subject to the four-factor fair use analysis (see Section 1.1).
Similarly, digitization and use of such collections after the expiration of the
transition period is outside the scope of these guidelines and subject to the
four-factor fair use analysis (see Section 1.1).
1 These Guidelines shall not be read to supersede other preexisting educational use guidelines that deal with the 1976 Copyright Act.
2 See Section 106 of the Copyright Act.
3 The Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, is codified at 17 U.S.C. a 101 et seq.
4 In general, multimedia projects are stand-alone, interactive programs incorporating both original and pre- existing copyrighted works in various media formats, while visual image archives are databases of individual visual images from which images intended for educational uses may be selected for display.