Copyright Do's and Don'ts for Schools
By Carol Simpson
DO make sure that all AV material shown to students directly relates to the curriculum.
DON'T show films or videos for
reinforcement or reward. You may rent movies for such performances,
paying a minimal public performance fee, from suppliers such as Movie
Licensing USA. Video rental stores cannot authorize you to give public
DO ask your faculty to sign a copyright compliance agreement.
DON'T loan VCRs or DVD-Rs with patch cords. Watch for questionable
situations: why would a teacher need two recorders except to copy
DO write the record date on all videos you record.
DON'T copy commercial computer software, except to make an archival (one that isn't used) copy.
DO keep receipts and purchase orders for
all videos and computer software. Keep the catalog (or pertinent pages)
to verify purchase of public performance rights.
DON'T copy cartoon or TV or film characters for decorations, bulletin boards, or handouts.
DO require teachers to verify recording
date and source for all homerecorded videos. Fair use guidelines say
that programs must be used for classroom instruction within 10 days of
DO write for permission to retain recordings of useful programs. The worst a copyright holder can do is say no.
DO remember that the person who pushes the button is also liable. So is the principal who knows copyright is being violated.
DO keep a link to Cable in the Classroom Online to verify taping rights from the various networks.
DON'T apologize for obeying federal law. If you would like a free
copy of the law, visit the Copyright Office Web site for a copy of
Carol Simpson is a professor, lawyer, and the author of Copyright for Administrators (Linworth Publishing, 2008).
Copyright & Recording Guidelines from CIC
Copyright Law of the U.S.
Updates to Current Copyright Laws - Oct. 13, 2008
Digital Millenium Copyright Act
Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright - for students and teachers
Copyright Website - Endeavoring to provide real world, practical copyright information for over a decade.