This week’s focus of study was U.S. copyright laws and how as teachers, we need to be aware of how original works can or cannot be used in our classrooms. I think the main lesson gleaned from this week’s readings and videos is that credit needs to be given where credit is due and we need to model good behavior in regards to copyrighted works for our students as well. Fair use is an interesting and useful way to use materials for educational purposes, but there are still rules that need to be followed. Fair use involves using pieces of copyrighted material without permission for “transformative purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work” (Week 3 lecture, 2017). For instance, for educational purposes, clips of a video can be used in a classroom as a way to prompt discussion. However, an entire video cannot be shown to a classroom if it is only for entertainment purposes without permission from the copyright owner.

There are also instances where fair use doesn’t apply: such as copying pages from a workbook and distributing them to students. This is an infringement of copyright because the author of the workbook will lose out on earnings that the workbook would have made if students had been instructed to purchase the workbook instead. Sometimes works fall into public domain, and in that situation, they can be used freely without permission. This pertains to very old works (copyrights are valid from publish-life plus 70 years) and a few other situations.

The best practice when a teacher or student isn’t sure about whether something qualifies for fair use or if something is public domain is to simply ask the author for permission to use their work. They might charge a fee to use it, but it won’t cost as much as a lawsuit and it’s the right thing to do!



Week 3 Lecture. (n.d.) Retrieved from:

Author: CruzN

I'm a Curriculum Specialist, Dental Hygienist, and Goldendoodle breeder. I want to share my passions with others so we can collaborate. I have an A.S. and a B.S. in Dental Hygiene, and a Master's in Education with a focus on Digital Learning. I have a passion for Goldendoodles, and have taken courses in breeding and genetics through AKC. I'm also a member of GANA. I have an amazing husband and three kids: Matt, Chloe, and Silas. I also have 3 dogs and a cat. Definitely a full house! When I'm not editing curriculum or fighting plaque and gingivitis, I like to hang out with friends and family (a little BBQ here and there), garden, play with the kiddos and my dogs, travel, and remodel our house (a never-ending project!). Most of all, I love to learn and share ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

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