This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Copyright Simplified for Students and Teachers" guide.
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Copyright Simplified for Students and Teachers   Tags: copyright, copyright_simplified, copyright_students, copyright_teachers  

This guide will give students and teachers copyright information and guidelines for research and Internet publication.
Last Updated: Feb 27, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

About This Guide


"Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet."    Mark Twain

 This LibGuide to copyright information provides practical information and guidance in handling the copyright issues confronting students and teachers every day.

This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

Copyright Q & A

The links below will answer common questions about copyright.

    Answers to questions students might have about copyright.
  • Copyright Kids
    Basic information about copyright for students.

What's Copyright

What's Copyright
Michael RobbGrieco
Media Education Lab
Temple University


What is . . .

Copyright:  Copyright is the law that protects authors or creators of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. It allows the author to decide how, when, and where their work can be reproduced and used.

Fair Use:  Fair Use is one means by which copyrighted works can be used under certain circumstances without first obtaining permission of the copyright holder. Fair Use is limited, but flexible, and is commonly used in educational settings.  The "fair use" provision of copyright law isn't a simple yes or no.  There are four factors you should use to evaluate whether a use qualifies as fair:

  1. Purpose and character:  Does it have a nonprofit, educational purpose?
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work:  What kind of material do you want to use?  Fiction/nonfiction?  Published/unpublished?
  3. Amount used:  Are you using a small portion of the copyrighted work?
  4. Market effect:  Will your use deprive the author from making money?

Public Domain:  Works in the public domain are not protected by copyright, so you can use them freely.  This includes

  • All works published in the US before 1923 
  • Works by the US Government or created by its employees as part of their job

Educational Technology Trainer

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Laura Sears
Contact Info
Educational Technology
Mesa Public Schools

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