Web 2.0 Open Education Resources
How will you use open source resources to enhance learning?
Reading for Module 2

Copyright and Fair Use in a Digital Age

As we explore open educational resources it is important to understand the role of copyright and fair use. This is a complex issue, but it is important as we explore open education resources.  As you explore the links on this page, consider how copyright and fair use influence how you use online resources both personally and with your learners.  What is the difference between what is acceptable for educational purposes and for other purposes?  What will you convey to others (friends, relatives, and your learners) about copyright and fair use, and how will you convey it?


Select the links that are most useful for you, but be sure to read at least ONE of the articles listed below.


The copyright Act of 1976 is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to authors of "original" works of authorship, published or unpublished. View the following PowerPoint presention "What is Copyright?"


Next read Smashing Magazine’s article, "Understanding Copyright and Licenses"Be sure to also explore the links on this site.  


The Universary of Texas’ Copyright Crash Course is Creative Commons licensed.  Explore it’s resources.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 was designed to implement the treaties signed in December 1996 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference, but also contains additional provisions addressing related matters. It is a long document, so for this course read ONE of the following summaries:

More Copyright Resources


Read 10 Big Myths of Copyright Explained. This may help you understand current copyright law as it applies to the Internet. Also explore  Copyright with Cyberbee web site. (Click on the picture to see the tutorial). This interactive tutorial can be very useful in working with students. Other good OPTIONAL resources are

Copyright Basics put together by the US Copyright Office.
Copyright Website

Hall Davidson’s Copyright Chart: (click on "Rotate Clockwise" button on the toolbar)
Classroom Copyright Chart

 Fair Use and the Copyright


The Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act is a legal principle that defines the limitations on the "exclusive" rights of the copyright holder. It provides a limited basis by which people can use a copyrighted work without getting permission. 21st Century Information Fluency provides some links to good resources to help people understand Fair Use.  You might also view the following PowerPoint presentation on "The Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act".  The following PowerPoint presentation s highlight these Fair Use Guidelines for Educators and the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia. You might find the following optional resources helpful as well:


The TEACH Act - Copyright Law for Distance Education:

The  TEACH Act  is the copyright law enacted just for distance education. It says that it is not copyright infringement for teachers and students at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works as part of a course if certain conditions are met. If these conditions are not or cannot be met, use of the material will have to qualify as a fair use or permission from the copy holder(s) must be obtained. As you read the TEACH Act PDF file, think about how it relates to your classroom.  How will you make sure that your classroom is in compliance withthe TEACH Act? 


Other resources (optional) for the Teach Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 can be found at:

US Copyright Office: Copyright and Distance Education
ALA: American Library Association: Distance Education and the TEACH Act Articles.


More Resources to Review

1) This information is from a workshop on DIGITAL CONTENT conducted by Dr. Lisa Hervey at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University.  Please explore of the resources in Section 1 (but do not do the exercise in Section 2).  Select at least three resourses to add to the annotated Web Resource List you began in the last module in Google Sites.

2) Additional tools and materials to explore.  Explore the links that seem to the most interesting and useful for your needs. 

  • Digital Tools and Tutorials
    • Explore these digital tools from the same Friday Institute Boot Camp and think about how you might use them in your classroom, work, or personal life. Either select at least three that you think you might use and add them to your annotated Web Resource List OR select at least three of the following for your Web Resource List:


More Resources to Explore


Also Consider These Educational Resources (An Eclectic List that has not been sorted by any particular topic). Select any of the resources that you think might be interesting or useful to you and explore them.  Then determine of the three resources that you can use and add them to your Web Resource List: