Elizabeth Potter Copyright, Fair Use, and Personal Rights and Privacy Toolkit


                                                Essential Components of Intellectual Property 

        As an educator, it is important to understand the laws of copyright and how to avoid infringement.

Copyright law, fair use, creative commons, and derivative works are incorporated under the Intellectual

Property Law. In this toolkit I will discuss the definitions of the copyright law, fair use by providing

examples using videos, links to websites and instructional guidelines.  Section 106 of Copyright law states

that the original creator is the owner of the work (Keller, 2012). If a person violates the personal right of

the copyright owner, ramifications can be as severe as incarceration to a less severe cease and desist

warning in letter form. Fair use and creativecommons are options when an educator is looking for

material to use in the classroom.

     Several acts relating to the Copyright Act that are crucial to understanding are the Copyright Term

Extension Act (Sonny Bono Act), the Berne Convention, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and

the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act (Alexander and Baird, 2003),

(Lakhan & Khurana, 2008).  Once an instructor understands the laws and how they relate to online

learning which is continually making advancements, teaching can be free from worrying about possible

infringement.  This toolkit will can be used a quick reference guide to educators making and planning

curriculum and course materials.   






       Websites such as  http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fair-use-rule-copyright-material-

30100.html are helpful resources to understand the law from a legal stand point.  The videos below

explain copyright, fair use and education and how to avoid copyright infringement. Fair use

for instructional purposes and materials for an educational purpose is fine. If an instructor turns on a

movie and plays it for entertainment without having permission then it is copyright infringement.

     According to (Carter Law Firm, 2013), fair use is used for educational purposes but cannot be used

outside the use of education.  A person cannot download or use music and change it for anything without



                                                   Copyright Law and Obtainability

     Copyright protection is obtainable for only original work as discussed in (Tysver, 1996-2015), “original

works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression”. These categories are as follows: originality

requirement, works of authorship, fixation, automatic creation and compilations.  We are all copyright

holders however a recreation of someone’s work does not make it an original work.  The law states that it

must mostly be work created by the originator. In school libraries, there are exceptions to the copyright law

because of the education clause,Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act  (TEACH) Act.

     The TEACH act enabled online and distance education programs to use education material in an

online  and distance learning forums (Lyons, 2010). This act focuses on internet privacy and was enacted

to protect documents online as well as the owner of the work online.  When an author creates work it is

automatically copyrighted.  The problem is the grey areas in the law with the internet makes it easy to

copy, paste and reproduce. In the online education field, the best rule is when in doubt consult a

professional attorney.  Other sources are universities guides to how copyright

operates. http://tep.uoregon.edu/technology/onlinelearning/fairuse.html

     Other sources that can be accessed are charts such as this one that provides a clear and succinct

template for instruction. http://www.xavier.edu/library/about/documents/copyright_9-23-08.pdf



        This toolkit provides provides basic non legal guidance for instructors in the classroom, online and

distance learning. The resources chosen are an effort to offer a clear understanding of possible grey areas

concerning fair use and copyright law.  In the digital age, copyright and fair use laws have become harder

to navigate.  Copyright toolkits such as this one can be used to quickly navigate around complex and

changing laws and acts. Videos from professional attorneys are helpful as they are the experts that stay

abreast of the latest laws surrounding the Intellectual Property Law. 

   When collecting information to use in a curriculum from the internet it is crucial to scroll to the bottom of

the website and determine the constraints of how the information can be used. Most of them will instruct

you on either no redistribution, limited or educational purposes only or not allowed at all.  In creating this

toolkit, some websites said no reproduction of any kind. Following and respecting the copyright owners

request is simple and easy.    


     Making this toolkit was compelling in creating an online access point for instructors to read a

complete simple document to know how to create a accurate instructional plan deviod of possible copyright

infrigement. The laws are ever changing concerning how online documents can be recreated and used.  

Laws are created however and fortunately laws can be added on to in the form of acts and are able to

stay up with technology like the digital age.  

    It is my goal that instructors find this toolkit helpful in understanding how to create accurate lesson

plans, rubrics and instructional material to further education. Education starts when children are young

and serves as a foundation that leads to creation of jobs and innovation.      

Bailey, Jonahtan  (2010). How to Correctly Use Creative Commons Works. Retrieved fromhttps://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/01/12/how-to-correctly-use-creative-commons-works/ 

Brown CL-IPs (2016). Copyright and Fair Use Explained By A Lawyer - CL-IPs #1.Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Mt-yf-OBA

Carter Law Firm (2013). Copyright, Fair Use & Education-You Tube. Retrieved from     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opqlNGBB0c8


Lakhan, S. E. & Khurana, M. K. (2008). Intellectual property, copyright, and fair use in education.

Lyons, M. (2010). Open access is almost here: navigating through copyright, fair use, and the TEACH Act. Journal Of Continuing Education In Nursing, 41(2), 57-66. doi:10.3928/00220124-20100126-03

Muller, Stan (2015). Copyright, Exceptions, and Fair Use: Crash Course Intellectual Property #3. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_9O8J9skL0&t=465s

Nolo (2017). The 'Fair Use' Rule: When Use of Copyrighted Material Is Acceptable. Retrieved from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fair-use-rule-copyright-material-30100.html

Technology and Learning (2008). Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers. http://www.xavier.edu/library/about/documents/copyright_9-23-08.pdf

Tysver, D. A.(1996-2015). Obtaining Copyright Protection. Retrieved from http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/obtaining.html

University Of Oregon (2017). TEP's Guide to Copyright and Fair Use Issues. Retrieved from http://tep.uoregon.edu/technology/onlinelearning/fairuse.html


     I would recommend as an instructor to be aware of the laws and resources to rely on for current

information surrounding copyright and fair use before providing documents online or in a classroom.  In

the education field most copyright holders are willing to work with instructors to use their material.  Asking

permission directly to the copyright holder and getting written permission is the best way to avoid any


    Creative Commons is another way an instructor can use valuable materials for instruction. This is a

short guide that includes symbols relating to how the work can be used.  This is an easy simple way

material can be accessed and used in an educational setting.  The creative commons link describes how

and which documents can be used in a simple format.