Copyright & Fair Use

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Copyright and Fair Use Laws

Effects of Copyright and Fair Use on Educators

Melissa Osuna

National University

“The power of technology is a two-edged sword…” (Roblyer & Doering, 2010, p.20), with an infinite amount of easy-access resources available online, copyright and fair use laws or more important that ever. The availability of online periodicals, full-texts and others resources is increasing drastically, and its imperative to make sure teachers and students understand and are in compliance with copyright and fair use laws. (Roblyer & Doering, 2010, p. 20).

Copyright is a “legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that covers information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used” (Fishman, 2008, p.6). Copyright laws provide authors the property right attached to their original work, it grants them exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, adapt, perform or display the protected work. Copyright laws protect seven broad categories which are literacy works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimed and choreographed works, pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works, motion pictures and audiovisual works and sound recordings (U.S. Copyright Office, 2008, p.8). Copyrighted work can be used or copied under certain conditions such as Fair Use.

Fair Use “explicitly allows use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes such as critisism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research” (Fair Use and Copyright for Teachers.). There are a few factors that the Copyright law provides for purpose of fair use, these exemptions are purpose of use, nature of work, proportion/extent of material used, and the effect on marketability. (U.S. Copyright Office, 2008, p.4). If you were to just make copies of copyrighted work for educational purposes or altered specifically for you audience it is considered fair use, its important to remember that...
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