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montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 328
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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Hi, Im a school teacher trying to market some of my phonics

Customer Question

Hi, I'm a school teacher trying to market some of my phonics lesson on a website for teachers. In my lessons I have downloaded clip art from Microsoft as well as other sites on line to support the principle being taught. For example, when teaching the phonogram at I have pictures of a cat, bat etc... . Is this illegal? I am not trying to sell the image but rather the spelling pattern along with the activities. I appreciate your help.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  montysimmons replied 4 years ago.

If such images qualify for copyright protection and unless the pictures are in the public domain, you would likely need to get permission to use such pictures/images.

If you were teaching lessons based on the pictures/images themselves, you could likely use the images without permission under the fair use doctrine.

Here, however the pictures/images are being used to advance a commercial benefit so the fair use doctrine unlikely applies.

Again, if Microsoft (for example) has put the images in the public domain for all to use, such images can be used without permission.