Teaching about Copyright and Acceptable Use
Hard to do, right? Not really. But first, you have to understand how to use copyrighted media yourself. Go ahead, click on the link above. You'll be glad you did. What skill could be more important to impart to our students than ethical use of the work of others? After all, we stand on the shoulders of giants. It's how new ideas are born everyday.

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube Presented by M. Wesch in 2008 to The Library of Congress, this highly engaging speech and the video clips presented throughout will give you a new way of looking at YouTube and its implications for modifying copyright law and broadening the interpretation of Fair Use. Even though the presentation runs a full hour, it's worth setting aside the time to watch it. High School students will surely be engaged and will want to discuss. it Fair Use or not???

This is a critical information literacy skill to teach students! Here's a document that you can use with your students to help them determine if they can claim Fair Use.


Interested in resources, videos, links to websites that will help you teach about copyright law and acceptable use? Check out the sites listed below:

Copyright Confusion This is a wiki devoted entirely to a book by the same title, due to be released in April 2011. The site includes links, resources, discussions, and guidelines teachers can follow in deciding whether to include copyrighted materials in their teaching. In addition, the site has a wide variety of teaching resources. Click here to order your own copy of this invaluable book.

A Fair(y) Use Tale Video from TeacherTube that is very effective (and entertaining) for teaching Fair Use to middle school and high school students!
Copyright Education User Rights, Section 107 YouTube video with a catchy tune that explains how to determine fair use.

Media Education Lab Here is a site from Temple University, filled with resources to teach students (and teachers) about fair use of digital media.

And here's a direct link to the U.S. Copyright Office.

When copyrighted materials are not necessary to meet your (or your students') purposes, use the following:

Photographs and Clip Art

//Artvex Free Clip Art Database//
Free Clip Art by Philiip Martin
School Clip Art for Teachers and Students Worry-free searching, because all content is "safe" for student viewing and use.
Flickr Scroll to the bottom, select "onliy search within creative commons".
Google Images Use the advanced image search, and be sure to change the Usage Rights section to allow searching for sites licensed for reuse.
Open Photo
Burning Well
Creative Commons
Search for photos on the flickr site that are permitted to be used or modified as long as you give attribution.
MorgueFile Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!
3D Toad- A innovative site with interactive 360-degree rotatable images.
Behold- A nice search engine to use with adult supervision for finding images on Flickr.
Find Icons- A great site for finding free icons to use in the classroom.
FreeFoto- A wonderful site for 1000s of free photos that can be used by students.
FreePhotoBank- A excellent site for free stock photos.
humanline- A new site for teachers and students for free images for art, history, science, etc.
ookaboo- A great way to search for free stock photos on a wide variety of subjects.
OpenClipArt- A nice site for free clip art.
Picsearch- A excellent place for finding images as long as being used with adult supervision.
Sprixi- A great way to search for images with adult supervision.
Veezzle- A free stock photo search engine and community.
Visual Dictionary- Not only a great place to find educational photos, but also offers descriptions and more.

Love Vector Free Students will find illustrations for use in projects on this site. Vector means that the images can be resized without blurry effects. Free means that your students can use the images without opening your wallet.'s legal page allows people to use any image on the site for any purpose, without attribution.

Music and audio files

Incompetech Royalty Free Music Search for music by genre or mood. This is an extensive downloadable library!
D. Keith Robinson's page about finding podsafe music!
Free Audio Clips
Partners in Rhyme Click on the link for Audio files.
Sound Jay
Podsafe Music Network

PodSafe Audio

iTunes (Look for 30 second clips for intros and outros)