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Copyright and You

Copyright can be frustrating

Copyright is often the bane of a teacher’s existence. It is at times confusing, arbitrary and capricious- sometimes all three at once.

It is, however, a fact of life and something that must be dealt with in order to follow the law and avoid lawsuits.

Site Goals

This course can be broken down pretty simply. The objective is to break copyright down to the basics so it’s easy for you to understand and give you easy ways to follow copyright that doesn’t result in more work. Also, the goal is to help you be better prepared to model copyright behavior for your students and advise them correctly when they have copyright questions.

So let’s start with some rules you can apply to all media right now.

You can ALWAYS use –

  • Anything in the Public Domain
  • Work ends up in the Public Domain when the copyright expires or it is directly released to the public.
  • Anything with a Creative Commons license. A new form of copyright that gives authors and users better options.
  • Anything you make.

You can PROBABLY use –

  • Material that meets the criteria of fair use.

You can NEVERĀ use –

  • This is when you go back to the criteria for fair use. There are no absolutes in copyright.

There will be different pages for different categories of material because there are different rules for different types of media. Each page will have a heading indicating things you can, might, and can never do.

Excellent resources will be provided along the way that you can use to find great images, sounds, and music without having to be concerned with typical copyright restraints.

Image source JPDaigle CC license