Using/Not Using Copyrighted Information
What can you use from the internet in a class project? Why
should you observe copyright issues in using internet materials?
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
- Explain the implications of copyright laws in regard to
using internet materials
- Explain the importance of observing those laws
- Ask permission to use necessary copyrighted materials
- Properly cite internet materials
- Create a quality, copyright compliant class project
Students will need access to a computer that has web page
making software (i.e., FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or Netscape
Composer) or PowerPoint and an internet connection.
This lesson is intended to teach copyright compliance in
the creation of research projects on other subjects. Students
will need to be introduced to the concept of copyright, either
directly through the Copyright Law (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/index.html)
and Fair Use, or a web site or document that clearly explains
the law (www.thecopyrightsite.org).
They will also need to be provided a procedure (and preferably
a template) on how to request copyright permission.
- This lesson should be part of another instructional unit,
such as the study of Hamlet, the Civil War, or modern
- As you begin that unit, give them a group project assignment
(click here for an example)
that requires them to produce a multimedia presentation
(usually a web page or PowerPoint) that uses outside sources
and multimedia elements, and presents or teaches some aspect
of the larger unit (e.g., a character, battle, or case study).
Be very explicit in what you require, both in terms of product
- After presenting the assignment, discuss the concept of
copyright, explicitly in terms of what they can and cannot
use in their projects without permission (providing them
with a handout that explicitly lays out the ground rules
is recommended), as well as how they should go about getting
permission to use things (consider providing them a template
for requesting permission).
- Be sure to provide them with some class time to work on
their projects, but for the most part, teach the instructional
unit in the same way you normally would.
- With the submission of the final project, require a statement
of copyright compliance for all sources and multimedia.
Class Discussion Ideas
- What kinds of things can you use from the internet and
for what purposes?
- When can properly citing materials make them usable? When
does it not?
- What are the consequences of non-compliance?
- What are the values of compliance?
Most of the assessment for this project is in the project
itself, but discussions about copyright issues--before and
after the project--can also be included. Another assessment
possibility would be to have a short quiz or self-assessment
after the initial copyright discussion.