Copyright Guidelines By Lauren Williams

What is copyright?

Copyright is a law for original works that grants protection to authors and owners of the works. Copyright protects published and unpublished works.

What is protected under Copyright Law?

Copyright protects "literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works... Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation" (

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use guidelines state that “if you are doing something for the greater good of society, like teaching, then your needs supersede the ownership rights” (Toner 2016).

What does Fair Use mean for educators?

Fair Use allows educators to use copyrighted material in classrooms for educational purposes. There are different levels of acceptable use depending on the material.

How do you find out what is acceptable Fair Use?

Teachers should double check before copying or using copyrighted material. This PDF link is a great resource for knowing what is acceptable fair use under copyright law.

How does copyright and fair use affect my students?

Today's society uses the Internet to find information on a variety of topics. Teachers use the Internet to reinforce concepts. Students use technology to create their own projects to demonstrate their knowledge of concepts.

Many people create things with the purpose of sharing them, which means copyright and fair use have to change to fit the needs to today's people.

How can people protect and share their creations?

The answer to a changing copyright law that fits today's needs is Creative Commons. This free site allows you to “legally share your knowledge… to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world” (“What we do”).

How does Creative Commons work?

Creative Commons lets each individual create a copyright license that works for their needs. You have to answer a few questions about what the copyright will be used for, and what you are comfortable allowing others to do with your work. Then, Creative Commons creates a copyright license for you for free.

How does Creative Commons affect teachers and students?

Teachers and students create things daily that enhance instruction or demonstrate mastery of concepts. Creative Commons allows teachers and students to take ownership of their original works, but enables them to share it with others. This is very beneficial in the learning process.

References (n.d.). Copyright in general. Retrieved from

Creative Commons. (n.d.). What we do: What is Creative Commons? Retrieved from

Toner, H. (2016, September 27). Copyright for educators. Retrieved from PBS Social website:

Created By
Lauren Williams


Created with images by studentofrhythm - "ink jar and quills" • Ken McMillan - "Kunechin Islets" • Joe Hayhurst - "Highlands re-edit 2 (Explored)"

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