Who Cares About Copyright, Anyway!?

By: Kristin Coe West

Opening Activity: In your opinion, does this video violate copyright? Discussion to follow.

will.i.am "Scream and Shout" + Les Miserables Parody = "Dream and Shout” (2013) by Teddie Films

Source: youtube.com
will.i.am "Scream and Shout" + Les Miserables Parody - "Dream and Shout"


Exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or sell an original work of authorship. It protects from unauthorized copying any published or unpublished work that is fixed in a tangible medium (including a book or manuscript, musical score or recording, script or dramatic production, painting or sculpture, or blueprint or building). It does not protect matters such as an idea, process, or system.

Protection in the U.S. now extends for the life of the creator plus 70 years after his or her death. Works made for hire are now protected for a maximum of 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of the creation of the work.

Source: “Copyright”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Okay, I might be interested... so what are the rules?

Rule #1: You Can’t Use Everything You Find On the Web

  • Just because you can Google it, doesn’t mean it’s free to use.
  • If teachers and students keep rule #1 in mind, they will most likely be fine.

Rule #2: There Are Resources You CAN Use

  • It’s NOT TRUE that you can’t use anything you find on the web.
  • It is too bad that while copyright is important to protect the work of others, it can also prevent creativity and educational goals for others.
  • However, there are many sources of “fair use” and “public domain” sources.

Source: The Edublogger.com http://theedublogger.com/2012/02/09/the-educators-guide-to-copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/

Okay, I give...explain the concept of Fair Use, please...

What is fair use?

The Copyright Act gives copyright holders the exclusive right to reproduce works for a limited time period. Fair use is a limitation on this right. Fair use allows people other than the copyright owner to copy part or, in some circumstances, all of a copyrighted work, even where the copyright holder has not given permission or objects.

How does fair use fit with copyright law?

The Supreme Court has described fair use as "the guarantee of breathing space for new expression within the confines of Copyright law."

Fair use is decided by courts on a case-by-case basis after balancing the four factors listed in section 107 of the Copyright Act.

Source: Teachingcopyright.org http://www.teachingcopyright.org/

The 4 factors of Fair Use:

1.The purpose and character of the use of copyrighted work

  • Transformative quality - Is the new work the same as the copyrighted work, or have you transformed the original work, using it in a new and different way?

  • Commercial or noncommercial - Will you make money from the new work, or is it intended for nonprofit, educational, or personal purposes? Commercial uses can still be fair uses, but courts are more likely to find fair use where the use is for noncommercial purposes.

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

  • A particular use is more likely to be considered fair when the copied work is factual rather than creative.

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

  • How much of the copyrighted work did you use in the new work? Copying nearly all of the original work, or copying its "heart," may weigh against fair use.
  • "How much is too much" depends on the purpose of the second use.

Source: Teachingcopyright.org http://www.teachingcopyright.org/

Amounts of Allowed Use:


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 1000 words, whichever is less
  • Poems
    • Entire poem if less than 250 words
    • 250 words or less if longer poem
    • No more than 5 poems (or excerpts) of different poets, from an anthology
    • Only 3 poems (or excerpts) per poet

Motion Media

  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted work or 3 minutes, whichever is less
  • Clip cannot be altered in any way


  • A photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety
  • No more than 5 images of an artist's or photographer's work
  • When using a collection, no more than 10% or no more than 15 images, whichever is less


  • Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds
  • Any alterations cannot change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work

4.The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

  • Is it possible to obtain permission from the copyright holder? For example, is the copyright holder recognizable and determinable?
  • Will your use negatively effect the sales of the original copyrighted work? Will your new work harm the market for the original works?
  • Will your new work impair the market for derivative works? Is there a market for permission?
  • Will your use of the copyrighted work actually increase sales of the original?

Source: The Copyright site. http://www.thecopyrightsite.org

Okay...but what about Online Videos??

Mashups, remixes, subs, and online parodies are new and refreshing online phenomena, but they partake of an ancient tradition: the recycling of old culture to make new.

In spite of our romantic cliches about the anguished lone creator, the entire history of cultural production from Aeschylus through Shakespeare to Clueless has shown that all creators stand, as Isaac Newton (and so many others) put it, "on the shoulders of giants."

Where it applies, fair use is a “right“, not a mere privilege. In fact, as the Supreme Court has pointed out, fair use keeps copyright from violating the First Amendment.



  • They may add unlikely subtitles.

  • They may create a fan tribute (positive commentary) or ridicule a cultural object (negative commentary).

  • They may comment or criticize indirectly (by way of parody, for example), as well as directly.

  • They may solicit critique by others, who provide the commentary or add to it.

Limitation: The new use should not become a market substitute for the

work (or other works like it).


  • clips from Hollywood films might be used to demonstrate changing American attitudes toward race
  • a succession of photos of the same celebrity may represent the stages in the star's career
  • a news clip of a politician speaking may reinforce an assertion.


  • illustrative quotations should be drawn from a range of different sources
  • each quotation (however many may be employed to create an overall pattern of illustrations) should be no longer than is necessary to achieve the intended effect
  • Properly attributing material will often reduce the likelihood of complaints or legal action and may bolster a maker's fair use claim.


  • filming a wedding dance where copyrighted music is playing
  • capturing the sight of a child learning to walk with a favorite tune playing in the background

  • recording their own thoughts in a bedroom with copyrighted posters on the walls.


  • media content played or displayed was not requested or directed

  • material is integral to the scene or its action

  • use is not so extensive that it calls attention to itself as the primary focus of interest

  • where possible, the material used is properly attributed


Someone may:

  • record their favorite performance or document their own presence at a rock concert.

  • post a controversial or notorious moment from broadcast television or a public event(a Stephen Colbert speech, a presidential address, a celebrity blooper)

  • reproduce portions of a work that has been taken out of circulation, unjustly in their opinion.

  • record their personal performances (gamers).


  • content is reproduced in amounts that are disproportionate to purposes of documentation

  • Or in the case of archiving, when the material is readily available from authorized sources.


Online video contributors often copy and post a work or part of it because they:

  • love or hate it, or find it exemplary of something they love or hate

  • see it as the center of an existing debate

  • want to share that work or portion of a work because they have a connection to it and want to spur a discussion about it based on that connection.

These works can be:

  • cultural (Worst Music Video Ever!)
  • a controversial comedian's performance)
  • political (a campaign appearance or ad)
  • social or educational (a public service announcement, a presentation on a school's drug policy).


  • the viewer needs to know that the intent of the poster is to spur discussion.
  • The mere fact that a site permits comments is not enough to indicate intent.


  • Mashups (the combining of different materials to compose a new work)
  • Remixes (the reediting of an existing work), and music videos all use this technique of recombining existing material into something new.
  • Other makers achieve similar effects by adding their own new expression (subtitles, images, dialog, sound effects or animation, for example) to existing works.


For example, fair use will not apply when:

  • a copyrighted song is used in its entirety as a sound track for a newly created video simply because the music evokes a desired mood rather than to change its meaning

  • when someone sings or dances to recorded popular music without comment, thus using it for its original purpose

  • when newlyweds decorate or embellish a wedding video with favorite songs simply because they like those songs or think they express the emotion of the moment.

Source: Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

Published on Center for Social Media (http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org)

Okay, that was interesting...but what about "typical education violations" ??

Images – mostly found through google image search

Curriculum docs – especially handouts and student activities

Text and quotes – copy/pasted from other websites (even with a link or attribution it still may not be legal)
– usually mp3s that students have uploaded to share on their blogs

Image source: teachthought.com

Maybe you're thinking to yourself, "Meh. Who will care? I won't get caught!"
Let's admit it... most of us have "been there, done that" at least once in our past, for various reasons. However... it DOES and SHOULD matter!


  • There's no guarantee you won't get caught. Someone who knows a creator, artist, musician, or lawyer might be a student's, colleague's, or community member's relative, etc.
  • What would your admin, students, and community say or think??
  • Remember, we educators are supposed to be ethical role models for our students
  • Google makes it incredibly easy for companies and content creators to seek out those posting their work on the web.
  • More and more “law firms” and organizations are out there looking for copyrighted content as a way of generating business. They then contact the copyright holder offering their services to get the content removed (for a fee of course).
  • Your actions could result in a LARGE fine or even a lawsuit for your school…


The Edublogger.com http://theedublogger.com/2012/02/09/the-educators-guide-to-copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/

YIKES!!! Okay, you've convinced me...what can I do now??

Option#1: Simply look for a “Creative Commons” license when deciding if a resource (ie. image, video, text, etc.) is free to copy or embed on your content.

In other words, what that means is you are free to use anything on that site as long as you:

  1. give an attribution or credit that lets others know where you got the info with a link,
  2. won’t profit in any way from using the content and use it for non-business purposes only, and
  3. anything you create with the same content, you must use the same license.

Where and how do you find that, you ask??

1. Add CC (creative commons) Search to your browser.

2. Simple internet searches

3. Search/locate Creative Commons sites at www.creativecommons.org


StockVault.net – Free images from photographers around the world

Kozzi.com – One free photo per day

FindIcons.com – Huge resource for avatars or small images

Flickr Advanced Search – Use advanced search filters to show only CC licensed images

Morguefile – Free stock photos

Open Clipart Library – Public domain clipart


You are free to embed any video from YouTube, Vimeo, WatchKnowLearn, etc. on your blog or website as long as it gives you the embed option.

  • You (or your students) can’t necessarily use parts from videos on YouTube (or other sources) to make mashups or as part of another video.
  • Be sure to have permission to use any video that you are cutting, making changes to, or adding to a project.

Curriculum and Text:

Wikipedia - Quote away (with a link back) to any information you find on Wikipedia

Curriki - An open curriculum community

Collaborize Classroom Library – A growing resource for discussion questions, lesson plans, and more

  • You won’t be able to add student resources from most textbook companies or purchased curriculum – so be careful and make sure you have permission before doing so!

You keep using that word, PERMISSION??

Permission= Asking the owner of a work if it's okay that you or your students use it.

How do I get permission??

1. Write a letter or email:

  • Contact the publisher or agent for books (easiest)
  • In the case of music, there are three copyright holders for each piece

  • Explain the following:
  • Who you are
  • Your contact information
  • What you want to use
  • How you plan to use it (copy, reprint, quote, etc)
  • How the material will be distributed
  • Who you should ask if you have contacted the wrong person

2. Purchase a license:

For movies or music, it’s a good way to stay compliant. Check out the following:

3. Other Great Resources on Copyright and Fair Use:



Geri Kerber. TCH 442 course info and slides “Copyright Law and Gaining Permission”. IL State University. 2013.

More Awesome Sources on Copyright:


The Edublogger.com http://theedublogger.com/2012/02/09/the-educators-guide-to-copyright-fair-use-and-creative-commons/


Who’s Larry Ferlazzo??

Larry Ferlazzo teaches English at Luther Burbank High School, Sacramento's largest inner-city high school. He writes a popular education blog and has written two books -- "Building Parent Engagement In Schools" and "English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work" -- where he connects what he learned in his nineteen year community organizing career with his present work in the classroom. He has won numerous awards, including the Ford Foundation's Leadership For A Changing World Award and the International Reading Association's Presidential Award for Reading and Technology.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Closing Activity: Teaching Copyright Quiz/Review

Do your best to answer the 10 minute quiz based on what we've discussed, and we will go over the answers together and discuss them.


Source: Creative Commons: A project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation www.eff.org