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Understanding Copyright and Fair Use

The Internet has developed much faster than intellectual property law, and it can be hard to apply older Copyright Fair Use guidelines to the new world of the Internet. We know it's not always easy to adhere to Fair Use policies, so here are a few simple practices that can help:

  1. Credit all the sources that you use in handouts and presentations.
  2. Don’t borrow too much from any individual work.
  3. Don’t republish anything from the Internet onto a public Web site without permission.
  4. When in doubt consult your librarian or media specialist.

Helpful Resources

Stanford Universities Libraries
The Stanford Universities Libraries Copyright & Fair Use Center provides articles, FAQs, primary materials, and various other helpful resources.

Copyright Crash Course
The University of Texas offers a crash course on copyright. Its "syllabus" includes an explanation of basic and applied fair use and copyright.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creativity. Creative Commons can help you find photos, music, text, books, educational material, and more that is free to share or build upon utilizing Creative Commons enabled search services

The United States Copyright Office
The U.S. copyright office provides a brief explanation of "fair use" as it pertains to copyright.

Jo Cool or Joe Fool: An Online Game about Savvy Surfing.
Includes a checklist for helping you decide if "Jo" is making a good surfing choice. Has a 20 question quiz at the end, and a 50 page pdf to help teachers use the site.

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