The Doctrine of Fair Use represents a check on copyright to ensure it does not infringe on free speech. The four tenets of fair use are: the purpose of the work, the amount used, the transformative aspect and the impact on the market. Since fair use is flexible, it can be litigated, and this often results in institutional restraint and risk management. However, as the Center for Social Media documents point out, fair use's flexibility does not render it unreliable. Moreover, in litigated cases, community practices are considered so they have issued several codes for best practices, which are disciplinary in nature (e.g. for documentary film, for media literacy education and the latest code for communications research).
In terms of IML classes, students should not use any more of a video clip (or any media element) than necessary to make their point and they must cite all assets used. In terms of music, it's dicey since any asset used should be an object of analysis and not simply decoration. Students can choose royalty free music (CC Mixter, etc), use the IML sound archive, or use music from bands that promote remixing their work (Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, etc). We use modified AP citation style, using the term "works cited" rather than bibliography, since that term better represents the range of 'works' or assets that IML students use, and all IML projects MUST be accompanied by a works cited page, either within the project itself, or on a separate 'page' as appropriate.
IML students should view this video, "Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend," by the Center for Social Media:
Remix Culture: Fair Use is Your Friend, Center for Social Media. 2006