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As teachers move from the classroom to the cloud, I am fielding a lot of questions related to copyright laws.  In this blog post, I offer guidance on copyright laws and fair use guidelines as they relate to educational materials.  As an educator myself, I understand the desire to provide resources to students at whatever cost, but urge educators to respect copyright, and lead by example.

What is a copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection that is automatically given to creators of literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, and intellectual works.  (Copyright exists immediately and automatically when the work is created in a tangible way.) The author of the work has the sole right to make copies of the work, distribute copies of the work, perform the work publicly, display the work publicly, and make modifications or adaptations to the work.

Someone’s creative work is his or her intellectual property.  Intellectual property has value—it can be sold.  For many people, including myself, their intellectual property is their livelihood.

Is the C. I. A. Approach copyrighted?

Yes.  An idea, procedure, method, or system that has been written or recorded is protected by copyright.  It is fixed in a tangible form of expression.  Therefore it is protected under copyright.

Additionally, all of the teacher’s guides, student materials, posters, and training materials are protected by copyright. 

What about "Fair Use"? Aren't the rules for educational use different?

Under the “Fair Use” doctrine, educators may make copies of a copyrighted work, distribute copies of the work, perform or display the work, or make modifications to the work without permission from the owner, but only under the following conditions:

  • The purpose of use is not for profit.
  • Only a small portion of the copyrighted work is used.
  • The use is not taking away from the owner’s income.
  • Credit is given to the original creator.

Common Fair Use Questions and Answers:

Under the Fair Use Doctrine, am I able to:

  • Scan a book and make it available to students?
    NO, because doing so would take away from the owner’s income.
  • Make a copy of my teacher’s guide so that I can loan it to another teacher?
    NO, because doing so would take away from the owner’s income.
  • Make a copy of the Book Club Notebook and make it available to my students on Google Classroom? Or, type up my own version of the Book Club Notebook and make it available to my students? 
    NO, because doing so would take away from the owner’s income.
  • Record myself reading aloud a book and share it with my students?
    YES, but only if you an education purpose is established AND reading the book aloud does not take away from the owner’s income.  Content is limited to being published on a private URL.  Some publishers are granting permission for teachers to do this on a public URL so long as they remove it when the COVID crisis ends.
    I encourage you to READ MORE about this particular topic here.
  • Photocopy a couple of pages from my teacher’s guide to put in my sub folder?
    YES, because only a small portion of the larger document is copied and used for educational purposes (not profitable purposes).
  • Lift 200 words from a book for the purpose of creating a running record?
    YES, because only a small portion of the larger document is copied and used for educational purposes, and credit is given to the author.
  • Write my own C. I. A. Unit and sell it on Teachers Pay Teachers?
    NO, because the purpose is for profit and takes away from the owner’s income.

If you would like to seek permission from the owner of a copyrighted work to use that work outside of the Fair Use doctrine, you will need to:

  1. Contact the owner.
  2. Obtain written permission.
  3. Pay the owner a fee (if applicable).

 

Thank you for reaching out to us with your copyright questions!  I appreciate your respect for the authors who have written and contributed to the Read Side by Side Reading Program.  I also appreciate your respect to the authors of the books the curriculum is based upon.  Your continued respect and support allows our company to grow!

For more information on Copyright Law click here.

 

Written by Sarah CollingeFIN_ALT_Sara_Stack_114

Founder and President

Read Side by Side, LLC.

 

For more information on teaching virtually, please read our blog titled, The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Teaching (The C. I. A. Approach)