Copyright and Creative Commons
Protection of intellectual property is taken very seriously in the United States. Copyright holders defend their rights quite vigorously and as a teacher, you should think carefully about how you and your students use the works of others in terms of music, video, spoken, and written words.
What exactly does Copyright mean?
The types of original content protected by copyright laws includes literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain intellectual works. In addition, it can also be the assignments you create for a class you teach or the notes your students take in class.
That all sounds a bit daunting, however, there are some limitations to these rights. The limitation that has the most impact for educators is ‘Fair Use’. (Fair Use is discussed below). Copyright law, as it currently stands, is covered in Title 17 of the United States Code.
For a lighthearted introduction to these concepts, check out A Fair(y) Use Tale video created by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University. This humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles uses sayings from our favorite Disney characters.
Visit the “Copyright Laws” Quest 1 on the 21things4students site which targets middle school students and where you can view videos, the Copyright Kids and Cyberbee sites, and take a copyright Quiz.
- Watch a video that gives a great description of the different types of Creative Commons (CC) licenses.
- View the presentation by Jessica Coates, Creative Commons For Educators
Learn to use Creative Commons (Links to an external site), an alternative way to license your own work and select the rules about how your work can be used by others.
Use Creative Commons.org to create a license for the original work you create in our class. If you are new to Creative Commons, click on “Licenses” and choose “About the Licenses” to learn more. When you are ready to create a license select “Choose a License” from the drop down menu. Click on the buttons to set the attributes for your license. Type in a name for your project and put your name (first name only or a secret code name) in the appropriate boxes. Click “Select License” at the bottom of the page when you are all set.