Monday, May 7, 2018

Share This Letter With Students to Show Them the Cost of Copyright Infringement

Getting students, and some teachers, to understand the importance of honoring copyright restrictions can be a challenging task. You'll often hear comments like, "it's no big deal," "no one is going to enforce it," and "it's for a school project so it's okay." The problems with all of those statements are that it is a big deal to the copyright holder, someone will enforce it, and just because it's for a school project doesn't mean you can use someone's copyrighted work.

A while back I found this letter written by Alex Wild and published in Scientific American that does a fantastic job of explaining how to handle an infringement on your copyrighted works. The letter also serves as a lesson to teachers and students who aren't aware of the real implications of just right-clicking and saving images found online. Pay particular attention to sections four and five of the letter. After reading the letter if your students still say, "well it's for a project so I can use it" then have them read Alex Wild's statement on classroom use of his photographs.

If you didn't see it last fall, Beth Holland and I hosted a free webinar all about copyright as it relates to classrooms. You can watch the webinar recording as embedded below.

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