Copyright and Fair Use:
Information and Lesson Plans

| Information for Teachers | | Lesson Plans |

Information for Teachers

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K-12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.

This blog post explains copyright using the mnemonic "Harry Potter Can Fly" (Homegrown, Public Domain, Creative Commons, Fair Use).

A Fair(y) Use Tale
This 10-minute video explains copyright principles using clips from Disney videos. It resides at YouTube.

Know Your Copy Rights: What You Can Do
several resources, including a printable brochure explaining copyright.

Lesson Plans

Copyright Infringment or Not? The Debate over Downloading Music
This lesson takes advantage of students’ interest in music and audio sharing as part of a persuasive debate unit. Students investigate the controversial topic of downloading music from the Internet. They draw upon their prior knowledge and experience by discussing their own sources of music and Internet practices, then conduct Internet research to investigate the history and legal issues of copyright infringement related to sharing audio files. Students use graphic organizers and interactive Web tools to synthesize information as well as to evaluate content and point of view. After students map their information, they take a stand on the controversy and develop persuasive arguments on their position that they present in a class debate on the subject of downloading.

Copyright Criminals
A complete unit to help students explore all aspects of the controversy surrounding sampling and fair use. Includes online video. Scroll to the bottom for an educator guide, discussion questions, and printable handouts.