Copyright 101

E-Learning Revolution 2014

Copyright Law

Confused?

Who isn't? You want to use the resources that you feel best suit the educational goals of your students, but you certainly don't want to break the law. With takedown notices and copyright notices posted everywhere, its intimidating and you may be unsure of what you can and cannot do. While this presentation is meant to provide no legal guidance or counsel, it is meant to give YOU the tools to help make better, more informed decisions on what is and is not permissible.
Copyright, What's Copyright?
Should "Happy Birthday" be Protected by Copyright? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios
Copyright: Forever Less One Day

Fair Use

Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits the reproduction of copyrighted works when done for the purpose of criticism, comments, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research and when the balance of four factors specified in the statute weighs in favor of a finding of fairness.

Remember: Fair Use does NOT equal the Fair Use Guildelines

Those "10%, 30 seconds, 100 words" are from the Fair Use Guidelines (aka. Educational Use Guidelines) and they are NOT THE LAW. While the intention of these guidelines was to provide a safe harbor for educators to use certain copyrighted material without fear of violating the law, the guidelines clearly state that they "state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under Section 107."


Be very wary of charts or checklists that reference these Guidelines. Fair Use must be applied for each situation. Don't limit yourself. Exercise the power of Fair Use!

Four Factors

  1. Purpose and Character of the use of copyrighted work
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work
  3. Amount of copyrighted work used
  4. Impact on potential market
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Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in Media Literacy Education

Fair Use Evaluator

From ALA Office of Information Technology

Copyright Education User Rights, Section 107 Music Video
A Fair(y) Use Tale
A Shared Culture

Public Domain

The Internet Archive


Smithsonian Institute PD Photos


New York Times PD Archive


Library of Congress

About the Presenter

Heather Lister, K-6 Librarian

Hempfield School District