Copyright and Fair Use

Wow!  This week has been intense.  We focused on copyright, creative commons and fair use.  This is a subject that I know very little about.  Yes, I have had the training videos, and heard the lectures.  But it wasn’t until I had to take actual scenarios of teachers using materials and break them down into what was covered by copyright and what was not, that I really started to get the material.  I am definatley an example of an active learner, not a passive one.  Using the internet to investigate different copyright scenarios was an eye opening experience.

The first resource that I found very helpful this week was an article entitled “Copyright Basics”,  published by the US Government.  This article was written in very easy to understand terms and contained very important information about what copyright is and what is covered by it.  I found this useful to give me a background to build on as I read more materials.  It is a good resource to keep handy for times when there is a question about copyright.

Another useful tool that I was introduced to this week is the Copyright and Public Domain document.  This was so helpful when working through the scenarios because it was an easy reference tool to seeing which things were in the public domain.  When the teacher chose to use materials that were in the public domain, there was no copyright infringement.

I enjoyed all the articles from the Creative Commons website, but the You Tube videos were much easier for me to understand.  I was confused about all the different license types, but the video cleared things up.  I understand the importance of using these licenses in my own work, and plan on getting my eportfolio and my videos licensed.  Creative Commons is a relatively new idea, so I am sure that the information about it will become more abundant as it gains popularity.

I also found a helpful article series while searching for information on completing the scenarios.  The Education World series on copyright was full of very useful information, especially for the classroom teacher. I found this resource invaluable while taking apart the scenarios to help figure out what was covered by copyright and what was not.

Copyright is not something that should be messed around with.  I think Dr. Bedard said it best when she reminded us it is better to ask permission than not.  Better safe than sorry.  I plan on being much more vigilant when looking at copyrights.  This is such an important part of Digital Citizenship, I need to set a really good example for my students, even if they are in Kindergarten.


Copyright Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States 1 January 20161. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

J.  (2008, July 30). A Shared Culture. Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

Morehouse, S. (2012). Explanation of the Creative Commons for Open Educational Resources. Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

Starr, L. (2010, May 25). The Educator’s Guide to Copyright and Fair Use. Retrieved July 27, 2016, from



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Posted in Digital Citizenship

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