Copyright & fair use

Teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and creative activities all require the use of work created by others. When a work is protected by copyright, Pacific University students, faculty, and staff have a responsibility to ensure that their use of that work is in compliance with copyright law.

The information on these pages is intended to help you determine how to responsibly incorporate others’ work into your teaching, learning, and scholarly activities.

If you have questions, or need assistance, please contact

In general, the use of copyrighted works must fall into one of the following four categories:

  1. The material is in the public domain or has been licensed for open use. This includes items that have passed into the public domain due to age, items that have been placed in the public domain by their creators, items that do not qualify for copyright protection or items that have been released under a Creative Commons license that allows for the proposed use.
  2. For online course content only: The use of material meets the requirements of the TEACH Act.
  3. The use of the material qualifies as fair use.
  4. Permission for the use is granted or purchased from the copyright holder.

For step-by-step instructions on working through these options, please select your type of intended use:

Teaching and learning (use in the classroom or an online learning environment by either faculty or students)

Personal research or scholarship shared outside of Pacific (publication, presentations, online sharing, etc.)