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PHIL 285R – Gualdrón-Ramírez – Spring 2020

Use this guide to find books, articles, databases, and other resources for research in your course.
  Finding Images

  Fine arts and photography


 Creative Commons and Public Domain

  Using & Citing Images

Copyright & Fair Use

Before we look at using and citing images and other visual resources for the cases you have been researching for this course, we first must understand WHY we need to follow the appropriate steps for using these images. 

   What is Copyright?

"Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works."

U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). Copyright in general. [Webpage] Retrieved from​


   What items are copyrighted?

Copyright protects "original works of authorship" including:

  • Literary
  • Dramatic
  • Musical
  • Artistic (e.g. poetry, novels, photographs, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture)
  • Websites (original authorship appearing on websites)

U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). What does copyright protect?. [Webpage] Retrieved from

   When is a work copyrighted?

A "work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."

U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). Copyright in general. [Webpage] Retrieved from​


Newbold, Curtis. "Can I Use that Picture?" 2014, The Visual Communication Guy,

   What is Fair Use?

107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(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.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
Footnote 40: The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 amended section 107 by adding the reference to section 106A. Pub. L. No. 101-650, 104 Stat. 5089, 5132. In 1992, section 107 was also amended to add the last sentence. Pub. L. No. 102-492, 106 Stat. 3145


U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). What does copyright protect?. [Webpage] Retrieved from

   Fair Use Assessment Tools

Fair Use Evaluator by Michael Brewer & ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
Fair Use Checklist by Kenneth D. Crews (formerly of Columbia University) and Dwayne K. Buttler (University of Louisville) (CC BY 4.0)

  Key Takeaways


  • All original works of authorship are copyrighted from the moment of creation
  • When using and citing copyrighted images and other visual resources, conducting a fair use assessment is recommended


  • Always cite images and other visual resources so that others can see where it came from.
  • Cite your own photos to show others where it came from.
  • If taking your own photos, be sure to request permission from the people you would like to have in the photo. If they are minors, you MUST request permission from a parent or guardian.