Fair Use Class Assignments for Studio Art Classes

  1. Have students make a work of art that incorporates copyrighted material (image or text) in a transformative way, and write a justification for not licensing that material, using the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. Artworks can be paintings, sculptures, works on paper, video, et al.

  2. Have students write an essay for a hypothetical grant application in which they are asked to discuss their artistic influences. They must include reproductions of at least three works of art. Students must provide proper citation for the images, including whether or not they are using it under the doctrine of fair use and why (using Section 1 of the CMSI Code as a source for their reasoning).

  3. Show the students a work of art that incorporates the work of others; choose one that has not been the subject of litigation, such as Roger Shimomura’s Liz (lithograph, 2014) or Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl (oil on canvas, 1963). Have them develop a fair use rationale for the work, either in class or in a take-home exercise, using the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts.

  4. Have students write a hypothetical letter protesting an unfair use of their artwork. Examples might include a new work of art that incorporates their work without transforming it, or someone reproducing their work without attribution.