Digital fair use is a newer area of copyright law and one that is constantly changing. The current guiding principles for fair use in educational multimedia can be found in Section 110 of the Copyright Act. Section 110(1) lays out an exemption for face-to-face teaching, while 110(2), which encompasses the majority of the TEACH Act of 2002, delineates the more limited exemptions for distance education. The full text of the TEACH Act may be found on the THOMAS website of the Library of Congress.
"Educational multimedia" means those projects that combine educators' or students' original material (such as course notes or commentary) with copyrighted media in any format (such as video, music, text, graphics, illustrations, photographs, or software) into an integrated presentation as part of a systematic learning activity of a nonprofit educational institution.
Guidelines for fair use in educational multimedia have been developed but, much like the Guidelines for Off-Air Recording, they do not carry the force of law. A Proposal for Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia was drafted during the 1996 Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) discussion on digital fair use, in which PBS participated. Although PBS has not formally endorsed the proposed guidelines, they may provide guidance in the development of multimedia projects using portions of copyrighted work. The proposed guidelines may be found in the "Proposal for Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia" at Section J of the CONFU Report Appendix available on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's website.
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