Classroom Resources: Copyright Law

Every semester when my students and I talk about citing sources, we discuss the difference between citing sources and having permission to use information, visuals, or other artifacts in their work.

Of course, when writing a paper, developing a presentation, or creating other work for their classes, students can usually just cite the source to sufficiently acknowledge others’ work. However, when students enter their professional careers or even when they work on behalf of student organizations, it is often not enough to cite the source when they use others’ work; copyright law requires that they must also have permission to use the work (e.g., using others’ company logos in a flyer for a student organization fundraiser).  This distinction between citing a source and having permission to use the work is one that is tricky for some students (undergraduates and MBAs alike) to understand.

Fortunately, the folks at Educational Technology and Learning provide “7 Outstanding Web Resources for Teachers and Students to Learn about Copyright Issues.” Among these sources are Teach Copyright, Copyright Advisory Network, Center for Social Media, Copyright Confusion, Creative Commons, Copyright 101 for Educators, and Teachers First.

The best part? You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the information! If you have other resources, please share them with us.

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