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Copyright and Plagiarism Resources


Center for Social Media
Founded in 2001 by the School of Communication at American University, the Center for Social Media investigates and sets standards for the fair use of media in our society. Codes of best practices for Fair Use for Online Video, Open Courseware, Media Literacy Education, and others are available at this website.
Grades: PreK - 12
United States Copyright Office
Includes federal regulations regarding copyright, directions on how to register for a copyright, and official filing procedures. Administered by the Library of Congress.
Grades: 9 - 12

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Lesson Plans and Teaching Activities

Copyright Kids
Appropriate for students in grades 6-12, Copyright Kids provides information about copyright law and how it affects us. Includes an interactive quiz, definitions, how to register your work, how to obtain permission to use copyrighted material, and a page for parents and teachers. Developed by the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., a nonprofit corporation founded to promote copyright education.
Grades: 6 - 12
Copyright Lessons from ReadWriteThink
Developed as a collaboration beween the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians and the National Council of Teachers of English these lessons can be used across all subject areas. Search by the keyword,"copyright."
Grades: 6 - 12
Four Great Lesson Plans on Copyright
Common Sense Education offers four lesson plans (grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12) that help students understand to give credit to their own work, respect the rights of other people's work, know what rights they have as creators, and what they should consider when using the creative work of others.
Grades: K - 12
Developed by the creators of Turnitin (plagiarism detection software) this website explains what plagiarism is, how teachers can help students avoid plagiarism, as well as how and when to cite. Links to online citation guides are provided.
Grades: 6 - 12
Teaching Copyright
A project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this website provides a curriculum of five lesson plans for teaching about copyright to middle school through high school. Rather than focusing on do's and don't the curriculum provides background information so students can make informed choices. It includes many handouts in both web and pdf format.
Grades: 6 - 12

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Other Resources

Checklist for Conducting a Fair Use Analysis Before Using Copyrighted Materials
Looking at the four factors of Fair Use (Purpose, nature, amount and effect on the market) can help you determine if a use is fair, or if you should seek permission before copying. Part of the Cornell Copyright Information Center.
Grades: K - 12
Chilling Effects
Chilling Effects is intended to help people understand intellectual property law while defending against attempts to "chill" legitimate uses of copyright protected material. The website offers background information and explanations of the law. It is a joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and seven major schools of law.
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education provides guidelines for use of copyrighted material in the classroom. A short video (6:25 min.) gives background information about the 22-page document that is available as a PDF. Developed by several professional teaching organizations, the "Code" is made available through the Center for Social Media.
The Copyright website from the American Library Association (ALA) is focused primarily on copyright related legislative issues from anti-piracy legislation to the TEACH Act. It also provides Copyright Tools that assist in determining copyright status, evaluating Fair Use criteria and other online tools.
Copyright Basics: The Video
Produced by the Copyright Clearance Center this animated video (6.5 minutes) gives an overview of copyright.
Grades: 6 - 12
Copyright Genie
Created by Michael Brewer with support from the ALA Office for Technology Policy and the OITP Copyright Education Subcommittee, the Copyright Genie helps determine if a publication is in the public domain. It can also create a report that shows justification of your decision-making process.
Grades: K - 12
Copyright Resources for K-12 Schools
This list of copyright resources includes links for general information, tutorials, digital tools, lesson plans, and sources of copyright free images, audio, etc. Selected by Yvonne Roux, Curriculum Librarian at William Paterson University.
Grades: PreK - 12
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States
This guide, divided by types and formats, can help determine if a work is in the public domain. Part of the Cornell Copyright Information Center.
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. It provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
Educator's guide to Copyright and Fair Use
Five part series of lessons about Copyright and the application of Fair Use in schools. Includes links to the Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia. Developed by Education World.
Hall Davidson's Copyright Resources
Copyright quizzes and charts of acceptable copyright practices are available from this website aimed at K-12 educators. Davidson is a noted educator, author and lecturer.
Grades: K - 12
Links to Copyright Information (David and Lorraine Cheng Library)
Useful copyright links organized in the following categories: Copyright Law, Fair Use and Higher Education, and Guides and Tutorials.
PandoHouse Rock: Copyright, Explained
Brief video (1:35 minutes) that explains copyright musically. While some facts are inaccurate (It's a Wonderful Life is not in the public domain) it gives a fairly accurate view of copyright.
Grades: 6 - 12
Paper Rater
This free service will check your text for spelling and grammar. It will also look for possible plagiarism violations, and provide suggestions for better writing.
Grades: 6 - 12
Plagiarism Court: You Be the Judge
This ten-question quiz tests your knowledge of plagiarism. Available in Flash, HTML or animated this quiz was developed by the librarians at Fairfield University (CT).
Grades: 9 - 12
Purdue University Online Writing Lab's Avoiding Plagiarism
Provides examples of what constitutes plagiarism, safe practices, sample exercises and best practices for teachers to help avoid plagiarism. Appropriate for grades 6 through adult.
Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works
Ruling of the Librarian of Congress on July 26, 2010 that outlines recommendations for the fair use of motion pictures on DVD, computer programs, video games and use of e-books in a variety of settings.
Grades: PreK - 12
Section 108
Libraries and archives are allowed to make copies of protected works under situations specified in Section 108 of copyright law. This tool, developed by American Library Association, helps identify the conditions for this exception.
Grade: K
TEACH Act Toolkit
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act), passed in 2002, updated copyright law regarding distance education. This Toolkit from North Carolina State University provides information about the TEACH Act through three categories: Implementation, Background, and Challenges.
Grades: K - 12
Understanding & Preventing Plagiarism: Strategies & Resources for Students and Teachers
This website explores what plagiarism is and the consequences of plagiarism at the college level. It suggest ways to recognize and avoid plagiarism. It provides samples of proper and improper paraphrasing and quoting. Includes a list of tools for proper citation and other resources. Part of the Accredited Schools Online website that focuses on information about higher education.
Grades: 9 - 12

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