Copyright Law

Why it's important and how it applies to the classroom


copyright law dealing with music is pretty clear. When using music in the classroom it must be purchased, with the exception of youtube videos. If you purchase a song to use during quiet time or for an activity, you must purchase the song and you may only use that song for your classroom. (You may not send it to every teacher in your building).

Music teachers have to be especially careful with the following six areas:

reproducing, recording, preparing derivative works (such as a new arrangement), distribution, performance, and display.

typically a teacher needs to rely on the "fair use" guidelines to ensure they are not infringing on the law.

Videos and Pictures

When and how to use them legally

When a video is purchased in a store or online, it can be shown to a group of students for educational purposes! This means that the video ties into the curriculum and what you are teaching. That also means if you are showing a movie that has nothing educational or does not align with what you are teaching, you may be in violation of copyright law.

Images are a little tricky. Images (mostly found on google search) are often times copyrighted and not available to use for blogs or class websites. This rule changes when using images to teach. Again, it depends on the image and you must rely on the fair use guidelines.

one way to get around this is to find images that have a creative commons license. I use this website to find images!

Kindergarten copyright education

In my kindergarten classroom, we have been learning about animals through books we checked out from the library. We have learned a lot about not copying words directly from the book and reading the books to learn the content and then writing it in our own words.

A great video I found to explain this to my class is:

All in all, educators have more flexible guidelines for copyright laws and it is best to double check your fair use guidelines before you use anything!

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