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Copyright at the University of San Francisco

Please note that this site should not be considered legal advice. It is to be used for educational purposes only. CC-BY unless otherwise noted.

Best Practices in Copyright and Fair Use

The first code for best practices on fair use was the Documentary Filmmakers' Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use. It was created because documentary filmmakers found they were asked, unnecessarily, to clear permissions by legal departments, or even being sued for use of copyrighted material even though their use was legal. Since then, the best practices document has been helpful in setting standards for filmmakers, studios, lawyers, educators, and all sorts of people who might not be familiar with both copyright law and what is best practice. We've included some examples below, but you can find more fair use statements and educational materials - for journalism, media studies publishing, and dance-related materials among others - through the Center for Media & Social Impact.