Understanding Copyright

Importance of copyright and fair use (Grade 10)

Understanding Copyright and Fair Use

copyright - the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work)


You need to follow copyright and fair use guidelines while completing this project.

Make sure you cite your sources.

Task - Creating a presentation on Dante's Inferno

Task: Understanding Copyright

Copyright is difficult to understand on many levels. Your task consists of incorporating the definition of copyrighting and providing relevant examples for each criteria of the four factors test. You will place these items in a Smore (similar to this one), Prezi, Glogster, Padlet, or others if approved. . You must provide a definition in your own words of each factor of the test and an example that illustrates your understanding of the concept and why it is important to understanding copyright and fair use. You will be using excerpts from Cantos 1,3, 5, and 34 of the Inferno by Dante.


Create a chart, bullet list, graphic organizer, etc.--in any digital format (Prezi, Glogster, or others you may find) that includes analysis of all the following (10 points each):

1. Purpose of the work

2. Dante (biographical details) (citations)

3. Structure of Dante’s Hell with a picture/labeled (citations)

4. The basic action of each Canto.

5. The Circle (or ring) in which it is set.

6. Physical features of the Circle.

7. Symbolism present

8.Songs that exemplify the mood of the Circle. (citations)

9. Characters present and their stories/relevance. (citations)

10. Use of digital tool enhances information.

Total—100 points

Four Factors Explained

An easy way to determine if something falls under fair use (which allows you to use someone else's work for educational purposes) is by applying the four factors test. The four factors test is a great tool to ensure students understand the concept of copyright and fair use. The four factors considered are:

· the purpose and character of your use of the work (has the material added new expression or meaning)

· the nature of the copyrighted work (you can copy from non-fiction easier than fiction)

· the amount of the portion taken (the less you take the better, the more you take one runs the risk of violating fair use)

· the effect of the use upon the economic value (do not deprive the original author of potential income)


Examples of Fair Use and Four Factors Applied

If I want to provide examples of Dante from history, structures of Dante’s Hell, or other material related to your assignment do not quote the example in its entirety. I only quote the part that illustrates (1-8 of the assignment listed above) that will be presented in digital format and could be applied to 1. purpose, 2. Dante's biographical information, or 4. the basic action of each canto. For example, I would not quote the entire article found at the Academy of American Poets. Instead I would state, "He later turned his attention to philosophy, which the character of Beatrice criticizes in Purgatorio" because it establishes Beatrice the character and her importance as well as the role of Dante and how he rejects philosophy. Also, in the same article "Unlike the epic poems of Homer and Virgil, which told the great stories of their people’s history, Dante’s The Divine Comedy is a somewhat autobiographical work, set at the time in which he lived and peopled with contemporary figures" it explains how he is compared to other Greek writers, but establishes the importance of his work as autobiographical and could be used for 1. purpose or 2. Dante’s biographical information. Quoting this information and giving appropriate citations allows you to use information that is not yours to make the presentation more informative and interesting.


Understanding Transformativeness and Application to Presentation

Transformativeness deals with transforming work and just not taking it as your own work. In understanding transformativeness you must understand the original usage. For example, are you using the original work exactly the same way as the author did? Or, are you taking part of that original work and transforming it into something new for a new purpose? Have you changed or transformed it by giving it new meaning or a new understanding of the material? Did you add value to the original work by developing additional meaning and/or make it look differently than the original author? This is what transformativeness means. If you are using it for some different purpose, adding to it through meaning, or changig it through appearance then you are transforming it. For example, when you take a small portion of a sentence from a webpage concerning Dante's biographical information and use it to illustrate your points in your presentation are you transforming it by adding meaning to it? Also, if you use a portion of a drawing that exemplifies the structure of Hell, but change the appearance are you transforming it by changing it in appearance?

Help with Citing and Attributing Sources

After you determine what you can use that falls under copyright/fair use through the four factors test and transformativeness, you still need to cite the source and give credit to the original author. There are many accepted methods of citation. Some teachers prefer MLA; others prefer APA. As well as some subjects support MLA (such as English and others) usage while others support APA (such as Psychology and others). For this activity, since it is one of the first ones dealing with citations, you can list the url below the the information that comes from that source as you see in the examples above. In our next assignments, however, you will apply MLA format to some activities and APA to others so that you are familiar with both. To begin learning about both styles MLA and APA in preparation for a variety of assignments you can visit: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/