EDUC 5973 Blog

Copyright for Teachers

Just reading over the Copyright Matters document in it’s 4th edition to make sure I understand its’ contents. There is so much to consider when examining this issue. Copyright in the context of the public school system is new me, although I have been affected by and working with copyright law in the music industry for over 15 years.

I am aware that different countries have different copyright laws, and that Canada’s laws are different from U.S. laws. In many cases, Canadian law benefits the intellectual property rights owners more than other countries in the world. Content creators are lucky here, at least in the music industry. I would like to learn more about the differences in both countries as far as educational materials are concerned.

In Canadian copyright law for educational materials, firstly, it is important for teachers to understand the meaning of Fair Dealing. Certain percentages of works are allowed to be used and copied for educational purposes. Teachers should refer to the document Copyright Matters if they have any doubt about something, whether it is print, music, or video.

I few years ago, when I was working at a school, we did a lip-dub activity with a song. We had permission from the artist to use the song to make the video. However, we did not upload the video to Youtube. Aside from the complication it might cause for the use of the intellectual property of the recording artist, we avoided any problems with students who might not have signed the waiver at the beginning of the year allowing the school to take photos and video. We did show the video to the students during class hours and they really loved seeing themselves on camera in action!

Another note. If a workbook has pages that are meant to be single use fill-in pages by students, and there is no explicit note that reproducing the pages is allowed, then it is best not to copy even part of that book. It would be a violation of copyright, if I understand the Copyright Matters document correctly. 

I found a blog called Copyright and Fair Use and Creative Commons that is packed with information for educators. Unfortunately I can’t decipher the country of origin of the authors. I am guessing since they refer to “Fair Use” instead of “Fair Dealing,” that the site may be American.

There is so much to learn here. Let me know your thoughts! 

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