In my last post, I mentioned the concept of "fair use," which is a term that many students think they understand, and many completely misunderstand, thinking that it gives them carte blanche over copyrighted content because they are a student.
The video below explains the concept of fair use in a classroom-friendly way:
In most cases, students are covered by fair use laws, until they decide to make their work public (ie. published on the web). At that point, they need to ask themselves serious questions about the nature of their use of copyrighted works.
Here are some tools that can help them decide:
- University of Minnesota: Thinking Through Fair Use -- a simple checklist to help students understand fair use.
- Fair Use Evaluator -- more in-depth resources to go deeper with copyright law.
A solid bibliography will help students understand the ownership of the information they use. The golden rule always should be: "if in doubt, leave it out!" It's better to find alternative, free-to-use resources than wind up in trouble.