Copyright 101

Copyright is the set of rules that protect the work of individuals from being recreated, or for lack of a better word, stolen by others. Any form of work that is created in a tangible form is protected under copyright laws, even if no copyright mark is visible. It is important as future educators to understand these laws, and how they play a part in what we do in the classroom. Luckily there are a set of four tests to help aid with copyright confusion.  Test one involves asking yourself about how you will be using materials. Materials used for educational purposes are more likely to be protected under fair use. The second test analyzes the work itself. Is is published, unpublished, factual, etc.? It is beneficial to remember that facts are in the public domain, but the expression of facts may be copyrighted. The third test is about the amount of copyrighted work you are planning to use. A general rule is that anything under 10% is fair use. Lastly, the fourth test analyzes how your use will effect the market of the work. If the sale of the product would be impacted negativity by what you propose to do, you are most likely not using copyrighted material correctly.
The medium of the materials you plan to use largely affects the copyright rules. It is important to know the copyright laws for the medium you plan to use, as they differ greatly. The biggest take away would be to simply ask for permission if you are unsure if what you are doing is against copyright laws.

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One thought on “Copyright 101

  1. I see evidence of professional reflection in your posting. Were there any hyperlinks from class that you want to add to this posting to support your assertions or provide tools for your future classroom to understand copyright issues?

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