Copyright–What can we do?

In the article Copyright 101 by Educational Leadership Magazine, it talks about how there are certain rules and things that everyone, including teachers, need to keep in mind. Often times, there are misconceptions about copyright that all of us commonly think, such as that schools do not really ever get trouble or have issues with copyright. This is not true.

Copyright is the legal right that someone has when they put something out in public, where other people can not steal their ideas or take what they have “creatively made”. This gets tricky however when in schools teachers might want to share a video, or something like that, and are not aware of the laws that come with copyright. There are four rules of “fair use” for copyright. The first is that the user needs to ask if the materials will be used non-commercially and in a non-profit educational organization. Second, is if the nature of the work is being copied, and if the work is published, and creative vs. factual. The third rule is how much of the work is being used because more work being used can lead to it being not so fair. The fourth rule is that you should think about if you have any commercial intent.

Along with those “fair use” rules, the certain type of media that it is matters a lot. For example, with print materials, teachers can use and copy those as long as it has to do specifically with the lesson, and there may be rules to how long they can keep the materials and if they can only copy this once. If it is a video or audiotape, teachers cannot play it if it is for entertainment or reward, and but they can play it if it is just for the lesson. So, depending on the type of media, teachers might have more freedom to use something compared to something else.


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