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Copyright & Fair Use Teacher Resources

Written by Joseph Conroy
October 29, 2010

In many ways, Renee Hobbs and the Media Education Lab of Temple University have spearheaded media literacy and shed light on how fair use should be applied in educational contexts. Not only is Renee’s scholarship quite forward-thinking, but her material speaks directly to a teacher audience. Take note of the linked videos—they inform as much as they entertain. Consider using these resources directly in the classroom with students.

PBS station KOCE of Huntington Beach, California has produced resources to support classroom teachers, including the “Copyright for Educators” series. This collection of videos and PDFs is quite detailed in the specifics of fair use doctrine, and it highlights what educators can and cannot do. These videos might be of particular interest for public school administrators who need to outline a district policy on fair use.

Lawyer and Harvard professor Larry Lessig speaks about copyright in his lecture “Laws that Choke Creativity”. This twenty-minute video covers everything from the original intent of copyright to how Web 2.0 technologies have challenged copyright law. His stories and examples are evocative and should be of high value to anyone with interest on the topic.

For Constitutional purists, take a gander at “§ 107. Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use” to see for yourself what started it all. Most contemporary interpretations of Section 107 stem from “The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education” developed by American University’s Center for Social Media.

Creative Commons has pioneered free licenses to content creators to publicly share work though a wide array of license options that allow others to reuse and remix for non-commercial and not-for-profit motives. These licenses offer more contemporary and flexible copyright options for both authors and users.

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