The ethical use of media is each person's responsibility whether one is a student or a professional. As a student or faculty member, you may use media for academic course assignments, teaching, and personal research without seeking permission. This use is permitted under the fair use guidelines of the U.S. Copyright Law (section 107). However, these materials are copyrighted and require the permission of the creators should you use them outside of the classroom either for personal or professional works. It is your responsibility to review the copyright information from the source you found the media item(s) to make sure you are in compliance.
Refer to these websites to view the US Copyright Law and explanations of its key components including "fair use" and "public domain."
The following are websites created by media professional organizations and universities that address copyright, licensing, contracts, and the ethical use of media.