Educational CyberPlayGround ®



Cite Educational CyberPlayGround CITE - the Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc. AS YOUR SOURCE. ( ISTC 301/501 Resources )

[... This website is fabulous and I will use it with my teachers.] ~ Courtney Bullock




Definition of Copyright: "The legal right granted to an author, a composer, a playwright, a publisher, or a distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a literary, musical, dramatic, or artistic work.

Music used
in the K12 classroom

For a project of any kind music needs to be evaluated - because the music might be copyrighted, the words might be copyrighted, and the performance might be copyrighted.
For a song that is 300 years old the music would have passed into the public domain out of any date of copyright, the words would also (including the words if it had), but the performance would still fall under copyright laws. Therefore, the multimedia guidelines for fair use suggest a limit of no more than 30 seconds or 10% of the piece, whichever is less and only for very limited use (for a student, within the confines of the classroom or to retain as part of a portfolio; for a teacher, limited to two working copies for two years. Thus, with the limitations, you couldn't use 30 seconds of anything you happen to own or find and use this music in a project that's placed on lots of computers in your school, and you can't use it indefinitely (unless you get permission). To get around this, think about play the piece youself which would allow unlimited rights to use because the music is out of copyright and the performance would be your own.

Music that Can be Used in Education Without Permission or License and played in the class room if it is:

  1. an original composition and you are the composer or have the composer's permission
  2. you have the permission of the publishers
  3. the music is used in distance education and you comply with all the requirements of the TEACH Act


    1. works published before January 1, 1923.
    2. works published between 1923 and 1978 that did not contain a valid copyright notice.
    3. works published between 1923 and 1978 for which the copyright was not renewed.
    4. works authored by employees of the federal government.
    5. works that the copyright owner has freely granted to the public domain.
    6. no works published after January 1, 1978, will pass into the public domain until at least 2048. Even anonymous works are copyright protected until 95 years after publication.


Music: Free Music THE BIG PICTURE PAGE 1

CopyRight: Book Fair Use Rights PAGE 3

What are your Fair Use Rights or What Qualifies under Fair Use?
U. S. Copyright Law Title 17 - Section 107 is the section of copyright law that addresses FAIR USE.

Facts Are Not Copyrightable
Facts aren't copyrightable. Anyone can produce a film, a book, a painting, sculpture, any creative work about the same story based on historical facts. Hollywood studios often will pay for the "rights" to a story from a newspaper or author, even though they don't need to secure the "rights" that way. They do it for getting more in-depth access to the writers for accuracy purposes or just for general endorsement. But there's no legal requirement to do so.
You can't copyright facts. Simply because you made any kind of art about the facts - it dosn't give you ownership of the facts. The "ownership of culture" mentality does not allow people think that they own the facts about some real historical story or that they have the right to stop others from making their own art about that story.

How some Teachers Feel About Fair Use

FAIR USE CRITERIA: These are the four criteria, which are very vague, that you will need to meet:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Types of Media and Permissible Amounts

  • Motion media:
    • Up to 10 percent of the total or three minutes, whichever is less.
  • Text material:
    • Up to 10 percent of the total or 1,000 words, whichever is less.
    • An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet or five poems by different authors in an anthology. For poems exceeding 250 words, 250 words should be used but no more than three excerpts from one poet or five excerpts from different poets in the same work
  • Music, lyrics, and music video:
    • up to 10 percent of the work but no more than 30 seconds of the music or lyrics from an individual musical work.
  • Illustrations or photographs:
    • no more than five images from one artist or photographer.
    • no more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, from a collection.
  • Numerical data sets:
    • up to 10 percent or 2,500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table.
  • Copying of a multimedia project:
    • no more than two copies may be made of a project.

CONFUSION - Fair Use Guidelines For Multiple copies

  • No more than...
    • one work is copied from a single author.
    • three authors are copied from a single collective work (such as an
    • nine instances of multiple copying occur during a single term or semester.
  • "Consumable works" shall not be copied, such as:
    • workbooks - are the books that are made to consume and are copy protected
    • workbooks that you can copy are what are referred to as "black line masters" meaning that you are allowed to copy enough for your own class. (this does not include an entire school district unless one copy of the book is purchased for each teacher.)
    • standardized tests.
    • The same item will not be reproduced from term to term.

CopyRight Issues: Use of early recordings for documentary video

Exclusive Rights
Under cl. 106 the copyright owner has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

  • to reproduce the copyrighted work,
  • to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work,
  • to distribute copies of the copyrighted work,
  • to perform the copyrighted work publicly, and
  • to display the copyrighted work publicly.

If you decide to use copyrighted material in your multimedia production, you are potentially depriving the copyright owner of exclusive rights.

Legal Uncertainties - Patrick Lynch, from the Yale University School of Medicine, in a recent article, states:

"If you are just using your project locally in your own classroom and have no plans to distribute your work, then few practical restrictions apply. But if you plan to distribute your project through a publisher, or even to distribute it informally without charge, you will need to make the same permission arrangements that you would make in publishing a book or professional paper. You should have a permission letter or a release form from each copyright holder in order to use his or her material in your multimedia work." (Lynch, p.24).

Music encompasses a number of different LICENSING RIGHTS. ~ Bob Rice AchieveGlobal

Music encompasses a number of different licensing rights. The good news is that procedures and policies for obtaining rights to use a musical composition are well established. It is also usually clear who owns the rights being sought. The bad news is that you normally must negotiate with several different parties to obtain all needed rights to use music for something other than personal PRIVATE listening.
One exclusive right of the owner of a musical composition is to control public performances.
17 U.S.C. 106(4). A classroom setting is, for all practical purposes, considered public performance. You must get permission, and usually pay a fee, to use music in the classroom.
Two pieces of advice. Refuse to listen to the well-meaning but misguided folks who will tell you that you won't get caught and it's no big deal. Maybe you won't and maybe it isn't, but it is at a minimum an issue of ethics. Our company faced this same dilemma. We bought the rights to a collection for use by our trainers in class. The music works great, and we stay legal.
Although we turned to a production house for the music (rather high-priced for an individual), you can purchase the rights to music created especially for the classroom at reasonable cost.

Edging toward the fully licensed world By Doc Searls
Feb 29, 2012
I own a lot of books and music CDs — enough to fill many shelves. They are relatively uncomplicated possessions. There are no limits (other than mine) on who can read my books, or what else I can do with them, shy of abusing fairly obvious copyright laws. (For example, I can't plagiarize somebody's writing, or reproduce whole chapters of a book I'm quoting.) Music is a bit more complicated, but not to the degree that I stop assuming that I own and control the CDs on my shelves (even when they're copied onto a hard drive, or stored in a cloud). The same even goes for the videocassettes and DVD of movies I've purchased. They are mine. I own them.
But books, music and movies from Amazon, Apple and other BigCos aren't really sold. They are licensed. Take Amazon's terms of use for e-books. They say this:

[… the Content Provider grants you a non-exclusive right to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Kindle or a Reading Application or as otherwise permitted as part of the Service, solely on the number of Kindles or Other Devices specified in the Kindle Store, and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider.]

Pretty clear. That stuff ain't yours. All you get is some downloaded data and a highly restricted set of permissions for where and how you use that data, mostly within within the walled gardens provided by Amazon and the Content Providers. So it's really more like renting than buying. (And not from friendly competitors, either.)


Statute is 17 U.S.C. Section 107 says: Making multiple copies for classroom use is SPECIFICALLY LISTED as an acceptable fair use.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include-

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

SEE example of a parody using a well know trademark

Apparently this fair use doctrine is simply a reason to have broken copyright law. By invoking that, you are admitting that you knew you were breaking copyright, but had an acceptable reason. Workbooks are "comsumable" items and therefore excluded from permitted multiple copying. (Unless the publisher themselves decides to give permission - but you can't assume it.)
And the number and times one can make multiple copies from other books is sharply limited. You can't, for instance, make copies of several chapters from the same book, or use multiple copies of the same chapter repeatedly in different terms.
From the book Getting Permission by Richard Stim: "Teachers may not photocopy workbooks, texts, standardized tests or other materials that were created for educational use. The guidelines were not intended to allow teachers to usurp the profits of educational publishers. In other words, educational publishers do not consider it a fair use if the copying provides replacements or substitutes for the purchase of books, reprints, periodicals, tests, workbooks, anthologies, compilations or collective works.



What can the kids put up online?

What is legal in the classroom?
Many schools strictly prohibit copying from workbooks. Some of these have been revised recently, and they still use the 1976 act for guidance. Assume the guidelines are designed to prevent the institutions from getting sued.

Publishing Students Pictures on the Web Release Form

Bound by Law This comic book is a fantastic approach for introducing students to copyright law, even at the middle-school level, and a must for professional development.

Copyright Counts
Even if administrators, teachers, librarians and parents who make copies think it is correct because they are doing it 'for the kids' are breaking the law.

It is very difficult to come up with a new idea. Make sure your students learn how to CITE THEIR SOURCE

  • Copyright Scavanger Hunt
    As a student, what can you use copyrighted music for in an educational setting?
    How much of a copyrighted song can you use in a student project?
    As a teacher, how much of a movie (motion media) can you legally use?

Copying workbook pages

Copying workbook pages is breaking copyright UNLESS you read copyright statements which permit you to make legal copies up to the number of students in a classroom.

READ the copyright information published in the book
Sometimes copying workbook pages is allowed. That is why they are made and sold at very cheap rates to be "consumed". If permission to copy for classroom use is not given, then don't assume it is OK to make multiple copies... it is NOT.

You must contact the publisher and ask for permission to copy.
Get it in writing and keep it. Never "trim" copyright information off of pages on which duplication rights have been given. This can be perceived as you taking credit for the work.

School districts are NOT allowed to "cut and paste" curriculum guides
with copies from teacher resource books that say "not to be distributed to a whole district -- for single class use only". Districts are not allowed to then put a disclaimer in the front of the "booklet" saying something about the pages being for "ideas" only and not meant for each teacher to copy.

Breaking copyright law and being dishonest happens in every state.
Anything that teaches children that it is OK to break even little laws, as long as you don't get caught -- is wrong.

Do NOT use any literary interpretation of copyright law that you read on any website unless it is DATED AT LEAST in the past last 12 months, even this one!

You may find a long list of exclusions to exclusive use rights now included in the law.



What about STREAMING VIDEO OR MUSIC on the schools web site? It is video and audio. Not the whole play (Guys and Dolls) but pieces of the play?

ANSWER: Ahh, so it's Guys and Dolls. My daughter was just in Bye Bye Birdie at Abington JHS, and we had the same problem. During the performances, the school was very strict about not allowing video cameras into the theatre. The reason is that the Broadway licensing companies that provide these musicals for use with schools are VERY STRICT about what may be done with their shows. They won't even let you change a line of their script without written permission, and the schools that license these shows have to sign a contract which contains all of these stipulations. Make no mistake about it -- these companies OWN their shows, and they have the right to make such stipulations.
And one of the stipulations is typically that no videotaping is permitted -- unless the school pays a significant additional fee. The real reason for the stipulation is that when the licensing company allows videotaping, they also allow the school to sell copies of the videotape as a fundraising activity, and of course the licensing company wants their share of that. Because of the excess cost and because a lot of schools don't really know how to turn videotaping into fundraising, they opt for the less expensive route and disallow the taping.
So technically, you should not have videotaped the show. But where the rubber meets the road in copyright law is always with litigation. It's HIGHLY UNLIKELY that the Broadway licensing company will sue you because you taped the show -- I'm not a lawyer, but at least three good reasons spring to mind: 1) they'd have a very tough time proving you benefited financially or caused any harm to them by taping it, 2) it's reasonable to argue that videotaping your own daughter is fair use of copyrighted information, and 3) you don't have enough money to make it worth their while to sue.
A school, on the other hand, has a problem, because if they were to either A) allow taping or B) to broadcast a video in any medium (including a website, BTW), they could be held in breach of contract and could easily be found liable. And since schools, being large institutions, DO have money, it is also much more likely the licensor would sue in this case. In addition, since such a lawsuit would most certainly make the papers, there is the possibility of political embarrassment as well since most school board members are elected officials. And this would also put pressure on the school administrators to do what is legally correct, since it is highly likely if such a lawsuit were to occur, the school administrators responsible would be fired.
So, the bottom line is that if you want this video to go out on a website somewhere, you'd better not have the school's name on it anywhere, because they would most certainly ask you to take it down if they found out about it. There's too much at stake for them.

QUESTION: I have purchased or rented a pre-recorded video program from a home video outlet. Can I use this in my classroom?

ANSWER: Under certain conditions, purchased or rented pre-recorded video programs may be used in the classroom.
Section 110 (1) of the copyright law enables teachers to use (perform) such a video without a public performance license (which is normally required whenever a video is shown outside the of the home). The conditions which must be satisfied are:
1) the use must take place in a non-profit educational institution,
2) the use must occur in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction,
3) the use must be part of a regularly scheduled course (thus ruling out extra-curricular or recreational use),
4) the use must be exclusively by the instructor and the students in the classroom, in the course of face-to-face teaching activities.

WHO OWNS IT? the teacher or employer.

Who owns the IP K-12 IP Online Content?

Protecting Intellectual Capital While Nurturing Intellectual Capacity

The Kansas Supreme Court will evaluate an appellate court decision giving public institutions in Kansas the right to claim ownership of any faculty work, including books, with no negotiation on terms required. The lower court treated faculty work as "work for hire" under federal copyright law, classifying scholarly work as within the scope of employment of a faculty member. The current policy, designed in 1998, allows faculty to keep their book rights and has a revenue-sharing model for technology copyrights. Should the higher court decide in favor of the board, the policy could be changed at will. The case pits the Kansas Board of Regents against the Kansas National Education Association.

WHAT teacher created material belongs to a teacher when they leave their position?

Copyright & K-12: Who Pays in the Network Era?

When publishing to third party websites that are free you will need to realize who owns what you have put up there. YOU? or the Website? That is all about who owns the copyright of your work. Should you use Yahoo for putting up your online course? Read their Terms of Use which appeare to grant Yahoo all rights to the material in perpetuity, and many other places are the same way. Do you care about what your copyright or people stealing and commercially exploiting your work? If you want to make your work publically available do you also want to give all rights to the material to someone else? One consequence of giving up all rights can be losing the right to use your own work. Read the terms of use and privacy statements and teach your students to do the same.

Copyright Laws, General Information Explained:

Work-for-Hire Agreements

The work-for-hire doctrine transfers copyright in the work from the creator to the hiring party. This happens by operation of law when an employee creates a work as part of his/her employment duties. No written document is needed. But in any other situation, copyright can only transfer from the creator of a work if that person signs an "assignment" or "work for hire agreement."
A work-for-hire agreement must be signed by both parties. It must describe the work specifically and fall into one of the following categories:

  • a. a contribution to a collective work, such as a magazine, newspaper, encyclopedia or an anthology;
  • b. a contribution used as part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work;
  • c. a translation;
  • d. a compilation, which is a work formed by collecting preexisting materials or data;
  • e. an instructional text (defined as a literary, pictorial or graphic work prepared for publication and with the purpose of use in systematic instructional activities);
  • f. a text or answer material for a test;
  • g. an atlas; and
  • h. a supplementary work, which is a work used to supplement a work by another author for such purposes as illustrating, explaining or assisting generally in the use of the author's work. Examples of supplementary works are forewords, pictorial illustrations, maps, charts, tables, editorial notes and indexes.

The terms "agree," "contract," and "writing," are interpreted broadly. A contract may be a check with the words, "endorsement constitutes payment in full for services rendered on a work-for-hire basis" scrawled on the back. An "agreement" may be the artist cashing such a check. A writing may be one that took place after the work was created but prior to payment. The court held that although a work-for-hire relationship must be established prior to the creation of the work, the writing itself need not be.
Beyond the work-for-hire situation, you can transfer your rights in a copyright by agreeing to do so. The transfer must be in writing and signed by you, except for nonexclusive licenses, which can be oral. *Tthe sale of a tangible object does not constitute the transfer of the copyright, and the transfer of the copyright does not constitute sale of the tangible object. There must be an agreement to transfer both.

Before you can publish OR duplicate something, YOU'LL need to figure out if you own it first.

- What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is an area of law designed to encourage creativity and fair competition in the marketplace. It protects the rights of individuals and businesses who have transformed their ideas into property by granting rights to the owners of those properties. It is an intangible asset that must be expressed in some discernable way to be protected. It can be bought, sold, licensed, exchanged or gratuitously given away.
- What is a Copyright?
A copyright applies to the expression of an idea, whether published or not. Once an original work is created and fixed, copyright exists. Examples include: musical compositions (words and/or music), audio and video recordings, motion pictures, TV programs, computer programs, databases and other literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.
- What determines if I own the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the content of my project?
Unless you or your organization created all of the program material yourself, someone probably owns the copyright. We check your disc for copyrighted material including music tracks, software, shareware, freeware, motion picture and television programs. Check our web site for links to research who owns specific copyrights. - - - What is a Copyright License?
A license is an agreement between the IPR owner and the user that specifies how the copyrighted material can be used. It should include how many copies can be made and how it is to be distributed.
- How do I describe the "Type of Content"?
ROM can be described as any of the following:
Game, Application, Database, Operating System, Multimedia, Software Compilation, Shareware, Freeware, MP3 or Enhanced CD. Audio can be described as, Spoken Word, Broadcast Program, Karaoke/CD+G, Soundtrack, Live Performance, Single Artist/Band, or Compilation. Music should indicate the style, such as Rock, Rap, Folk, Country, Latin, etc.
- What if my program is a compilation of either software and/or music?
Attach a list of all software, shareware, or freeware programs, all musical tracks and/or video clips and indicate for each one if you own the IPR or license it. Attach the license agreements for each individual item.

What is a "Letter of Indemnity"?

This is a letter claiming you assume all responsibility for the content material. This cannot be accepted as a substitute for a licensing agreement.

Who should sign the IPR form?

The form should be signed by an officer of the organization or the individual soliciting the replication and not by a broker or intermediary.

Copyright law is governed by
The United States Code

United States Code

Title 17 of the US Code
This document details the types of works that can be copyrighted, the rights the copyright holder has, situations where copies may be made without the holder's permission as well as the penalties for copyright infringement.
Section 106
lists the rights the copyright holder has:

" ...the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending"
Sections 501 and 506 deal specifically with copyright infringement and penalties:
" Anyone who violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner as provided by sections 106 through 118 or of the author as provided in section 106A(a) an infringer of the copyright or right of the author, as the case may be"
" Any person who infringes a copyright willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain shall be punished as provided in section 2319 of title 18."
" When any person is convicted of any violation of subsection (a), the court in its judgment of conviction shall, in addition to the penalty therein prescribed, order the forfeiture and destruction or other disposition of all infringing copies or phonorecords and all implements, devices, or equipment used in the manufacture of such infringing copies or phonorecords."
" Any person who, with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500."
Title 18, Section 2319
details the punishment for copyright infringement:
" Whoever violates section 506(a) (relating to criminal offenses) of title 17 shall be punished...and such penalties shall be in addition to any other provisions of title 17 or any other law."
" Any person who commits an offense under subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense consists of the reproduction or distribution, during any 180-day period, of at least 10 copies or phonorecords, of 1 or more copyrighted works, with a retail value of more than $2,500; shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, if the offense is a second or subsequent offense under paragraph (1); and shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or fined in the amount set forth in this title, or both, in any other case."

copyright classroom, copyright teaching material, educational copyright law, fair use


1908: The Supreme Court ruled piano rolls were not copies. 1909: The Copyright Act was amended to include piano rolls and recordings.

In 1908, the Supreme Court looked at the copyrightability of piano rolls in the case of White-Smith Music v. Apollo. {FN1: 209 U.S. 1 (1908)} In a unanimous decision finding that piano rolls were not copies of the musical work under the copyright law as it existed at that time, and therefore not an infringement

Congress amended the copyright act in 1909 by giving the copyright owner for a musical work the exclusive right “to make any arrangement or record in which the thought of an author may be recorded and from which it may be read or reproduced.”

This was the first step in a chain of legislation that led to copyright for computer software.

U.S. Copyright Office: Historical Information
This site is dedicated to copyright law and the national copyright system and also contains more wordy and technical items, including the complete text of the United States Copyright Code. There are also a number of learned articles on copyright here, including "A Sneeze of Historic Proportions" and "You Wrote It, Now Copyright It.' The site's fun "Copyright Lore" area includes artless on Mark Twain's fight for international copyright protection and information about the world's biggest card catalog, which is part of the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Copyright Industry - A Century Of Deceit