Copyright is the law of the United States that protects the works of authors, artists, composers, and others from being used without permission.
The core purpose of copyright is to promote creativity and the spread of knowledge. Article 1 Section 8 U.S. Constitution
Copyright law provides educators with a separate set of rights in addition to fair use, to display and perform others work in the classroom. These rights are in Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act and apply to any works, regardless of the medium.
Fair use allows you to use a limited amount of copyrighted material for your educational use. Ask these questions to pass the test… 1. Does it have a nonprofit educational purpose? 2. What kind of material do you want to use? 3. Are you using only a small portion? 4. Will your use deprive the author from making money?
Fair use is very context-dependent so only you can determine if you use it fairly.
A science teacher wants to include photographs found in National Geographic to help enhance his/her unit on Habitats in a PowerPoint presentation for his/her class. Does he/she need to seek permission from the copyright owners? What if he/she wants to make changes to the photograph?
No, the instructor does not need to seek permission to use the photograph because the use occurs in the face to face classroom. Displaying or performing copyrighted work for classroom purposes is allowed under section 110 of the Copyright Law. In addition, changes made to enhance instructional purposes are activities allowed under the fair use provision.
A social studies teacher wants to create a copy of the Boston Tea Party documentary and post it to her password protected website for students to view and download. Is this teacher violating copyright laws?
No. In the face to face classroom setting this situation is clearly allowable under the provision of section 110 of the Copyright laws.However, until the school meets all policyrequirements of the Teach Act, teachers can onlylook to the provisions of fair use when workingwith media in the online teaching environment.
A social studies teacher wants to teach her students the lyrics to Billy Joel’s, “We didn’t Start the Fire.” He/she copies the song from a cd to upload to the web so the students can listen to it. Is the teacher violating copyright?
Yes. Under the fair use guidelines, the teacher is violating copyright. Even if the teacher were using the material for educational purposes, he/she is depriving the artist of income from the sale of the cd. Amount refers to the use of a portion of a work. Media: you can use 10% or up to 3 minutes Text material: you can use 10% or up to 1000 words. Music/lyrics: you can use up to 10%, but no more than 30 seconds of an individual work.