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Library Skills: Copyright Laws

Learn about copyright law and the rules regarding the use of images, music, movies, text, software, and more. Find out if your use of copyrighted material falls under the Fair Use policy. Try the online calculator to determine if a work is in the public domain. Includes student activities. There is a link to eThemes Resource on Cyberethics: Downloading Music from the Internet.


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This curriculum is designed to help teach students their rights and responsibilities when using technology. There are lesson plans, handouts, and other resources for teachers.
This site has official information about U.S. copyright law. Read the "Copyright Basics" and "FAQ," then look at the law by clicking on "Copyright Law." Click on "Registrations and Documents" to search for copyrighted works. You can also learn how to register your own work at this site.
This page has a checklist you can use to decide if your use of materials falls under Fair Use.
This page has a chart that explains when a work's copyright has expired, which then places the work in the public domain.
Use this "Copyright Duration Calculator" to determine whether a publication's copyright has expired. Try tying this into a math lesson.
Learn about copyright through interactive copyright questions and answers.
Students will take a role of a judge to evaluate music copyright cases. This is a nine-page PDF file.
In this lesson plan, students will investigate and debate about music downloading from the Internet. Resources and guided instructions are included.
Learn about cyberethics and how not too violate copyright in cyberspace.
These sites highlight the debate about downloading music from the Internet for free. Watch videos of musicians expressing their thoughts on the issue. There is also information about copyright law and explanations about why these types of downloads are considered illegal and unethical. These sites are helpful for teachers who want students to debate the issue. There are links to eThemes Resources on Internet safety and computer basics.

Education Standards


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