Mashups and Fair Use

mashup logo

Many times people create music or videos by compiling bits and pieces from multiple artists, songs or videos to create a presentation/video. This is okay to do BUT….there are conditions. Here are some of the things to consider when creating or having students create mashups.

Mashup: “Slang. a creative combination or mixing of content from different sources” (songs, videos, websites, etc.) (

Fair Use:  brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder. (

“I ain’t no lawyer.” Please note that the following is written without legal advice or review.

You may:

— use music, video, scanned print materials, images and more to create a mashup
— upload it publicly (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.)


— your copy is legal (not pirated)
— you’re not using a purchased copy that restricts you from using the item in a mashup (iTunes, iStock Photo, etc.)
— your copy is not encoded (DVD encoded to prevent copying)
— cite the material (source and author/performer)
— you are not selling or using your mashup for promotion
— the work is transformative (very different from the original)
— your mashup doesn’t impact an artist’s sale (you didn’t use the whole song, album or video)
— you may NOT use logos or trademarks (you could use photos that include them, however)


This information was taken from

Per the website’s request: “This information alignes with Seneca College’s Copyright Policy and Fair Dealing Policy and may not apply if you are from another institution. Please note this site was developed by library staff and is not reviewed by legal counsel.”


Posted September 9, 2014 by Sandy Groom-Meeks in category "Copyright", "Uncategorized

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