Empowering Media That Matters

Fair Use, Free Speech & Intellectual Property

Copyright concerns fundamentally affect the creative choices media makers believe they can make. As part of its mission to provide educational support to creatives in media that matters, CMSI develops tools to better understand how to employ fair use, the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment, under some circumstances. Filmmakers, journalists, teachers, visual arts professionals, librarians, archivists and more all have collaborated with CMSI to clarify how fair use works with their most common practices.

Fair Use for Doc Filmmakers

Documentary filmmakers have expanded their ability to employ fair use with a code of best practices. Find the code, curriculum materials, videos and more on documentary film and fair use here.

Learn More

Fair Use for the Visual Arts

Fair use is a key tool for the visual arts community, but is rarely exercised due to confusion, doubt, and misinformation. This report describes the visual arts community's consensus on common fair use situations.

Learn More

Set of Principles in Fair Use for Journalism

Journalists’ fair use Principles fight self-censorship.

Learn More

Fair Use of Orphan Works

How can we make collections containing orphan works available to the public? These guidelines, devloped with contributions from over 150 memory institution professionals, are a good place to start.

Learn More

Fair Use Videos

Browse our fair use videos on the Center's YouTube channel. Find playlists for videos on Documentary, Journalism, Libraries, Media Literacy, and Online Video.

Watch Now

Other People's Footage

New film on copyright and fair use.



Teaching Materials


Center for Media & Social Impact
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016-8017