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Copyright or Copywrong? The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting it Right

Published on Nov 24, 2015

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Copyright or Copywrong

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Getting it Right

School of Professional Studies

Naomi Pariseault @elearngeekette
Photo by ShironekoEuro


  • Copyright Overview
  • Creative Commons & Things You CAN Use
  • Decision Flowchart
  • Implementation & Process
The logic behind this approach is to focus on:

Laying down a foundation

What you can do (not what is restricted)

How to move quickly from all the copyright resource materials that are out there (of which there are thousands) to the practical application and implementation piece which is critical

Throughout this presentation I will provide recommendations, but the lawyers and policy makers at your institutions will be important resources to you. Obviously from my background you know I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice but instead recommendations.
Photo by cogdogblog

Pinterest Board
Decision Flowchart

I've compiled a set of resources for you. Everything that I will share with you today can be found on my "Copyright or Copywrong?" board on Pinterest found here: https://www.pinterest.com/nlparis/copyright-or-copywrong

If you don't have a Pinterest account, I recommend signing up for one as it can be a great tool in the learning space.

Link to decision flowchart: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/c0ac97bb-366b-4a03-897e-394104851...

Link to copyright duration guidelines: https://www.lucidchart.com/documents/view/46174720-8441-4403-80ad-36c791a92...

Everything is also licensed with a Creative Commons license for your use and re-use pleasure
Photo by melstampz

Current perceptions
of copyright strategies

What is copyright?

Copyright is a recognition of intellectual property ownership

Or we could also say copyright is a recognition of the expression of your intellectual property

We want creators to receive credit for their work and to make important decisions about how their work will be displayed, copied and used.

There is monetary element, but at the core this is about intellectual property

Creation, use and re-use of information

Not going to cover patents and trademarks today

Which means
exclusive rights = exciting for a creator

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  • Make copies
  • Distribute copies
  • Perform publicly
  • Display publicly
  • Create derivative works
These exclusive rights include all of the following

How does copyright work?

like magic! Sort of...
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the intellectual work

As soon as an intellectual work (ideas in fixed tangible form) is created it is protected by copyright. No need to request or register which makes it very easy.
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So... how long is something protected by copyright?

Life of the creator + 70 years
 (if collaborative authorship, the life of the creator who lives the longest is used)
Photo by rubyblossom.

So what can I use?

Or how can i use it?
The flow here will be to move from resources that are easier to use and then move on to the ones that will take more time and effort to verify.

Public Domain

AKA copyright does expire!
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Cornell University distilled all of varying copyright duration items into one comprehensive table:

And while very useful in a holistic sense for a case-by-case analysis, it can be helpful to have a simpler version to start. This chart is something I created that highlights the most common items you would review.

Works Created
by the Government

Works created by the US Government are automatically in public domain
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licensed items

Photo by whisperwolf

licensed items

  • Materials from library databases (course reserves)
  • Video streaming services
  • Software
  • Stock image collections
Licensed items could be anything that you or your institution licenses which might include things like the following:

- materials from library databases (course reserves)
- video streaming services
- software
- stock image collections

Now I am aware of the Georgia State University lawsuit by publishers which contested the application of fair use through the use of providing materials the library’s e-reserve system. It will be interesting to see what comes from that case in regards to fair use (which we will get to later). But for now, it's important to recognize that if you are using licensed items it is important to be in compliance with the license terms.

Here is a link that nicely summarizes the Georgia State University case:
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Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides easy-to-use copyright licenses that provide a straightforward method for your to change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.”

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside
copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

Adapted from: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/images/6/62/Creativecommons-informational-...

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As described from the Creative Commons Licensing handout:

Publishing under a Creative Commons license is easy. First, choose the conditions
that you want to apply to your work.

Attribution. All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or
their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement
purposes, they must get your permission first.

NonCommercial. You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you
have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than
commercially unless they get your permission first.

ShareAlike. You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work,
as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to
distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.

NoDerivatives. You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies
of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

From: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/images/6/62/Creativecommons-informational-...

Find Creative Commons Works

Use their exploration Tool

Provide proper attribution

  • Title - What is the name of the material?
  • Author - Who owns the material?
  • Source - Where can I find it?
  • License - How can I use it?
Creative Commons has created a great page on their wiki about best practices for attribution, but this slide contains the basics

Here's the link to the wiki page:
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waived copyright

CCo = Public Domain
CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Public Domain Dedication

The creator has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law.
Photo by 2.

free resources

(with attribution most often)
There an incredible amount of "free" resources available online. And with freedom comes great responsibility. You want to check out what the requirements are to use the resources. Often times it's just attribution (a link), but sometimes not.

Let's see some of my favorite free resources on the next slide...

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These are just a few of the free resources my team and I have curated and use.

Some you need to sign up for weekly or monthly "freebie e-mails" and some are databases of resources.

Here are the links:

Creative Market: https://creativemarket.com
Death to Stock Photo: http://deathtothestockphoto.com
Pixabay: https://pixabay.com
Flat Icon: http://www.flaticon.com
Font Squirrel: http://www.fontsquirrel.com
Free Sound: https://www.freesound.org
Freepik: http://www.freepik.com

terms of use

that match your intended use
Check out the information on the page itself and/or scroll to the bottom of the page and look for "terms of use" or "terms of service"

I've often found that educational use is explicitly permitted by some websites and resources with just an attribution needed to use
Photo by Shardayyy

Link & Embed
Hosting the Content

Linking to the item or using the embed code vs. actually downloading and hosting the item can be an effective way to use something.

Use cases include:

- embedding YouTube videos
- linking to articles in library databases

The issue = links have a tendency to break so you need to check them
Photo by Enthuan

Fair Use

"The Copyright Basics" website for kids provides a nice overview of Fair Use:


The exclusive rights of the copyright owner are not unlimited. The copyright law establishes some limitations on these rights. One of the most important limitations on the exclusive rights is the doctrine of "Fair Use."

The "Fair Use" doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The copyright law provides that reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors, which courts must consider together in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "Fair Use," or is instead an infringement of the copyright.
Photo by Timothy Greig

Four Factors of Fair Use

  • The purpose and character of your use (transformative?)
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market
The four factors judges consider are:

1. The purpose and character of your use

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion taken

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market

See more at:
Photo by Timothy Greig


  • But this is for educational use... I can use it right?
  • "Good faith" determination
  • Checklists
There are a lot of good guides and checklists available out there.

One to highlight is from Cornell:
Photo by Timothy Greig


Overview from: https://www.copyright.com/Services/copyrightoncampus/basics/teach.html

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was a collaborative effort among academic institutions, publishers, library organizations and Congress.

Although copyright law generally treats digital and non-digital copyright-protected works in a similar manner, special digital uses, such as online distance learning and course management systems, require special attention. Some of the special copyright requirements of online distance learning are specifically addressed by the TEACH Act.

TEACH Act Requirements
For the full list of requirements, refer to the TEACH Act at www.copyright.gov/legislation/archive/.

In order for the use of copyrighted materials in distance education to qualify for the TEACH exemptions, the following criteria must be met:

- The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution.

- The use must be part of mediated instructional activities.

- The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class.

- The use must either be for 'live' or asynchronous class sessions.

- The use must not include the transmission of textbook materials, materials "typically purchased or acquired by students," or works developed specifically for online uses.

- Only "reasonable and limited portions," such as might be performed or displayed during a typical live classroom session, may be used.

- The institution must have developed and publicized its copyright policies, specifically informing students that course content may be covered by copyright, and include a notice of copyright on the online materials.

- The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut & paste disabling, etc.

What TEACH Does Not Allow

The new exemptions under TEACH specifically do not extend to:

- Electronic reserves, coursepacks (electronic or paper) or interlibrary loan (ILL).

- Commercial document delivery.

- Textbooks or other digital content provided under license from the author, publisher, aggregator or other entity.

- Conversion of materials from analog to digital formats, except when the converted material is used solely for authorized transmissions and when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures.

TEACH Act Highlights

  • Non-profit & use for mediated instructional activities
  • Limited to students in course
  • "Reasonable & limited portions"
  • Institute technological measures that reasonably prevent retention for longer than a class session
The most challenging item on this list is the last one as it requires printing, downloading, saving, etc of digital materials.

ask for permission

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students purchase

license the item

A variety of licensing options and companies who do licensing:

Copyright Clearance Center


Case-by-case analysis = critical
Photo by wwwuppertal


Photo by arellis49

Decision flowchart

Photo by ademrudin

so what do i now?

implementation & process
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4 distinct areas

  • Policy
  • Process
  • Accountability
  • Recordkeeping

brainstorming time


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locate copyright policy

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accessible info

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Tip: know your copyright gurus

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Build into front end

aka process and conversations
Build copyright into process &

course design
naming conventions
Photo by Brian Birke

easy resources

don't reinvent the wheel... curate!
Don't reinvent the wheel... curate!

Provide decision flowchats, checklists and things that can easily assist in the decision-making process and as a record

One of the California State Universities has an interesting page on fair use interpretations:

Specifically, §504 (c)(2) of the Copyright Act notes that if you reasonably believed the use to be a fair use at the time (and the checklist could aid in documenting that decision process), any statutory damages arising from the infringement will be "remited" (i.e., waived).

Checklists "Offers some protection from statutory damages if you believed the use was reasonably a Fair Use"


And while I understand this completely, if there are not resources that are both catalysts and support means for applying copyright... what would that mean for an attempt at copyright compliance? Carefully crafted resources to help are better than ambiguous or misunderstood application
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consider creator & user pov

Tone & Empowerment
Tone and empowerment are important
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ways to foster?

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instructional design

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Attribution is one way to keep track of what you are using, but what are others?

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copyright widget?

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table of copyright contents?

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do the best you can

"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad C?"
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continue the conversation