copyrights and fair use on tpt

Understanding Copyrights and Fair Use on TPT

by The Artsy SLP

Understanding the Meaning of “Fair Use”

Many people misunderstand exactly what fair use means. When creating products for Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), it’s common to use clip art, graphics, fonts, etc. in your products. It’s not okay to just give credit or link to the store to be protected under fair use and copyright law. If you don’t have permission from the author/owner, to use their product then you don’t have permission to use any part of their product in items that you sell.

Designers are very specific with how their products are to be used. Make sure to read their Terms of Use (TOU). Most designers require you to give them credit with a link back to their page/store. However, other terms are more specific. Some clip art and fonts are not to be used commercially and are only for personal use. Read on for tips on understanding copyrights and fair use when creating products for your TPT Store.


Personal Use
This means that you can use a design product (clipart, fonts, etc.) for personal use only. This typically means that you can use their product in your own classroom, with students, on projects, etc. Personal use means that you can use a  product personally; but cannot sell it.

Commercial Use
This means that design products can be used as part of your products to sell. To give credit, include a Credits Page with a link to the design products used. Most require a link back to their store as part of the TOU. Be sure to read the TOU carefully. Some designers ask for more, such as, crediting them on the website where your product is sold.

Copyright on Freebies
All of this applies to freebies too. Just because a design product is free doesn’t mean that you can use the design however you please. Graphic designers have TOUs for free items as well. For example: some freebies are only for personal use. Also, even most freebies require credit back to where you got it from.

When in doubt…ASK! Don’t ever assume anything. If you have a question about how clip art and fonts are to be used, contact the designer. They will be more than happy to answer your questions. Remember that someone put hard work into designing these products, so make sure that proper credit is given! Understanding copyrights and fair use are an important part of your journey on Teachers Pay Teachers.

For more tips on starting your TPT Store, read my blog posts on: TPT Tips for Beginners.


Tips for Understanding Copyrights and Fair Use
Understanding Copyrights and Fair Use is an important step on Teachers Pay Teachers.



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