What does copyright mean?
Basically a copyright is legal protection given to a creator of some type of original work. The works can be things like books, plays, artwork, music, poems, stories, and other types of writing or other types of “intellectual works.”
When you create something, you automatically own the copyright to it. That means you have the right to give permission, or not, for others to use your work by copying it, performing it, displaying it, or sharing it with others.
If people use your work without your permission, they are breaking copyright law. How would you feel if you spent your time and energy creating a great report and one of your classmates got a copy of it and took your name off the report and then turned it in as their own report?
It also means that if YOU use someone’s work without permission, YOU are breaking copyright law.
Is there any exception to the law? Yes. It is call fair use.
What does fair use mean?
Fair use is the right to use only a small portion of someone’s work for non-commercial purposes without getting permission or paying a fee. The law states that a copyrighted work may be used “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” Then, the work should be properly documented using citations and the creator given credit for their work.
Important Things to ask when using a work under Fair Use:
1. Are you using the work for a commercial purpose or for a non-profit educational purpose?
2. How much of the copyrighted material is being used? A small portion, large amounts, or the work in its entirety?
3. Does your use affect the copyright owner’s potential for income from that work?
4. Have you given proper credit to the creator of the work by using proper citations?
Fair Use is not always easy to determine. So if you are not sure that your use is “Fair Use,” contact the copyright holder and get permission to use their work.
Check Out These Websites Concerning Copyright
1. This website has all kinds of information about copyright for kids
2. Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright
3. United States Patent & Trademark Office Site for Teens
4. Copyright Quiz
5. Cyberbee teaches students about copyright and fair use
Links to Copyright Free Images, Music and Sounds for Students
Smithsonian Flickr Collection
NOAA Photo Library
Phillip Martin Clip Art
Free Music Archive
Articles about Copyright and Fair Use
Adee Braun, S. M. (2015, April). Shhhhh! Stop Singing! Scholastic Scope, 63(8), 22-23. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&AN=102049611&site=src-live
Byrne, R. (2015, April). Go Forth and Reuse. School Library Journal, 61(4), 1. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=voh&AN=101816803&site=src-live
Hulick, K. (2014, September). Funny photos were meant to be shared. . .right? Odyssey, 23(7), 47. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&AN=97865264&site=src-live
Lendino, J. (2014, December). Why Music Should Not Be Free. PC Magazine, 29-32. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=voh&AN=99568545&site=src-live
Springen, K. (2014, July 21). The Piracy Problem. Publishers Weekly, 261(29), 20-23. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=voh&AN=97129991&site=src-live
All of these articles were accessed through Pioneer Utah’s Online Library http://pioneer-library.org/
Click on “One Click Access” for Utah Residents
Then click on "Student Research Center (High School & Middle School)"
Next type the article name in the search field for magazines
Copy and paste URL to link to article in the database
Videos about Copyright