Copyright and Fair Use

I just completed an assignment which required me to research copyright and fair use (first useful assignment in that course, sadly), and I thought I would share some of what I learned here in case it’s helpful to you:

  • Your students in grades K-6 may not necessarily be expected to understand how much material they can use before they infringe copyright, but if your students are older, be sure to educate them about portion limitations.
  • Even for educational use, fair use has time limitations.  Make sure you are aware how long you can use materials without infringing copyright.
  • Fair use is defined in a nebulous fashion: err on the side of caution and either 1) obtain proper permissions, 2) follow the letter of fair use guidelines with regards to all restrictions and limitations, or 3) don’t use the material.

I found these sites helpful with regards to learning more about fair use:

Remember: You can find music, images, video, and other materials licensed under a Creative Commons License (which often just requires attribution in the case of non-commercial use, but check the license for the individual work you want to use).  Make sure your students know about this valuable resource.

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