Copyright - What can we do? (Part 2)


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Copyright - What can we do? (Part 2)

  1. 1. Copyright – What can we do?Copyright Scenarios
  2. 2. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 1I find that I want to make photocopies of a single page from a coursebook to give tomy students in class. I dont want to (or I cant) use the whole coursebook - but thisone page has exactly what I need.
  3. 3. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 1Technically you would need permission. However, it is highly unlikely that a teacher woulda) get caught and reported andb) be prosecuted.But if you distribute the content online, and the copyright holder were to discoverthis, then they would likely request that the teacher remove the material. If the teacherrefused, then the next stage would be a cease and desist letter. Litigation would be unlikelyunless significant amounts of material were being distributed. If a charge were beingmade, then there would be a significantly increased change of litigation.
  4. 4. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 2I like to copy CDs onto my hard drive so that I can carry the audio files with me (onmy laptop or mp3 player).
  5. 5. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 2Maja: As long as the audio files on your laptop or mp3 player are meant for your personaluse, you may make a copy. But it is illegal to reproduce any digital versions of a CD, if theaim is to play the audio files to an audience or a classroom. You need the permission of thecopyright holder.Matt: If the audio CD in question is a teacher’s CD designed to accompany a coursebook, then there is at the very least an implicit license granted for classroom use. As long asthe teacher owns the CD, it may be copied onto any other device. The legal issues are alittle more complicated, but in brief – the teacher need not fear litigation.
  6. 6. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 3I like using YouTube videos in class. If there is no internet access in the classroom, Idownload the video at home and take it into class on my laptop.
  7. 7. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 3Maja: Check if the video has a Creative Commons licence.Matt: Or similar. I would not advocate the use of such material where the teacher inquestion does not actually own a hard copy.
  8. 8. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 4I like to use current articles from the news so I make worksheets by copying andpasting articles from the internet.
  9. 9. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 4Maja: The fact that an article or a story is online does not mean that it can be copiedfreely, unless the permission to do so is given on the website itself. If you wish to usearticles from the Business Spotlight website, you have to get our permission to do so.Teachers can use Business Spotlight material if they work for a state school - we havecreated special subscription models for teachers and their students. And even if thepermission has been given to use certain materials, the source still has to be given in full: title, author, page, publisher, year.Matt: Would Business Spotlight really try to sue a teacher who was using a singlephotocopied article? I suspect the backlash would be great, the case would be refused bythe courts and BS would end up looking ridiculous. However, this is not the same situationas where an institution makes unlicensed pdfs of copyrighted material available on theirintranet without the permission of the copyright owner.
  10. 10. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 5I like to liven up my worksheets by adding pictures that I have found on the internet(e.g. on Google images).
  11. 11. Copyright – What can we do?Scenario 5Maja: Pictures on Google images are not copyright free. You still have to get permission touse them.Helen: You can do an advanced search on Google for images that are labelled for reuse.Pictures on are shared under a creative commons licence(see The above analysis is absolutely correct. Teachers should use pd material wherepossible. However, I have yet to hear of a teacher being sued for using such a picture inclass.
  12. 12. Copyright – What can we do?Please noteMaja: In Germany, VHS (adult learning state schools) have an agreement with the VG WORT(English equivalent: Copyright Licensing Agency?) which allows them to copy up to 12% of apublication (max. 20 pages) as well as all pictures, diagrams and illustrations.
  13. 13. Copyright – What can we do?Some more scenarios from the survey1. Can I use photos from magazines and catalogues?Not without their permission, but eltpics has a bank of photos you can use (moreabout that in Part 3).2. Can I adapt photocopiable games for my own grammar or vocabulary?Yes, you can copy ideas but not content.
  14. 14. Copyright – What can we do?3. Can I scan or copy and paste articles and send them to my students?No, this is not allowed. If the article is available on the internet, send the link to yourstudents instead.4. Can I copy articles/texts from my clients website and make worksheets out of them?You need to get permission from the company as the website content belongs tothem.5. Can I play DVDs or music CDs in class?In Germany you need to get permission from GEMA ( to do this.
  15. 15. Copyright – What can we do?6. Can I record the news or download a news podcast and play it in class?Technically this is not allowed but it’s unlikely that you will be prosecuted if you doso. State schools and VHSs are permitted to use short news items. If you want tocover breaking news in your class, there is a wealth of ready-made lesson plans atbreakingnewsenglish.com7. Can I photocopy articles from Spotlight for my VHS classes?Yes – state schools and universities, including the VHS, have an agreement thatallow them to photocopy up to 12% of a publication.8. Can I copy graded readers for my students?No – even if you work in a state school, this would be more than the permitted 12%.
  16. 16. Copyright – What can we do?9. How can I stop my students plagiarising work?Tell them about real examples of people whose careers were destroyed throughplagiarism (e.g. German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg). Use aplagiarism detecting tool, such as Turnitin.10. What can I upload to Moodle or other LMS?Anything that you have created yourself and doesn’t infringe copyright.