What is the Copyright and Fair Use relevance to my ESL website?

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  • I have a website at http://www.moviesgrowenglish.com since 2010 in which I create ESL lessons for my college-level students.  The lessons are used in support of watching movies in the classroom. I also sell the lessons on-line for $1 each.  The vast majority of the content on my lessons is original.  However I incorporate transformed movie-posters, screenshots, (industry marketing tools.) and short dialogue-quotes from films into the lessons.


    I have wondered for some time whether these actions indeed fall under Fair Use?  I have studied the Stanford Libraries website, and I took its Fair Use Evaluation, but I was my own judge.  I have contacted film studios for permission and never gotten a response.

    I do not believe that I am depriving the studios of income.  If anything, I am generating income for them.  Also, I do not knowingly damage the image of a film product's ability to generate income (e.g. parody, satire).  I have come to the conclusion that either my output is allowable under Fair Use, or my operation is too small to worry about.  Thank you for your informed opinion of my situation.  I was referred to your office by Carrie Russell at ALA Washington.


    There is a section on my website at http://www.moviesgrowenglish.com/Teacher.html#copyrights which covers more detail about my circumstance. A sample lesson is here: http://www.moviesgrowenglish.com/FeaturedLesson.html.

  • Mike--  Like you, I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal advice, but in looking at your website and reading your Copyright 101 information, I believe you understand fair use and its application to your instructional materials. Others on this forum may have additional feedback. Best wishes on your endeavors. Billie

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