Digital Responsibility


Copyright, Fair Use and the Creative Commons can be confusing to navigate these days! This session will get participants thinking about copyright and fair use through scenario question and answers. Following the conversation, presenters will discuss the four-prong test for determining fair use, with a focus on transformative use. With copyright and fair use in mind, participants will explore creative commons resources for images, audio, & video.


  • Participants will evaluate classroom situations for adherence to fair use guidelines.
  • Participants will discover and discuss online sources for media that are appropriate for use in the classroom.
  • Participants will feel confident in their ability to explain copyright, fair use and transformativeness.
  • Participants will compare and contrast the NETS*S Digital Citizenship strand and the NETS*T Digital Citizenship and Responsibility strand.

Image Citation:

Review Copyright FAQ's

The Stanford University Libraries Copyright FAQ page is a wealth of information. Visit this page with your table group and locate the area assigned by the presenter. Be prepared to share 3-5 pieces of information with the whole group.

Fair Use...

Stanford University Libraries Fair Use Explanation
...explicitly allows use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is the most significant limitation on the copyright holder's exclusive rights. Deciding whether the use of a work is fair IS NOT a science. There are no set guidelines that are universally accepted. Instead, the individual who wants to use a copyrighted work must consider the following four factors:
1. The Transformative Factor - Purpose and Character of Use ~ Copying and using selected parts of copyrighted works for specific educational purposes qualifies as fair use, especially if the copies are made spontaneously, are used temporarily, and are not part of an compilation. At issue is whether the material has been used to help create something new, or merely copied verbatim into another work. (Scenario)
When taking portions of copyrighted work, ask yourself the following questions:
..........>> Has the material you have taken from the original work been transformed by adding new expression or meaning?
......... >> Was value added to the original by creating new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings?
2. Nature of the Copyrighted Work: For copying paragraphs from a copyrighted source, fair use easily applies. For copying a chapter, fair use may be questionable. There is more leeway to copy from factual works such as biographies than from from fictional works, such as plays or novels. (Scenario)
3. Amount and Substantiality of Portion Taken: Duplicating excerpts that are short in relation to the entire copyrighted work or segments that do not reflect the "essence" of the work is usually considered fair use. (Scenario)
4. The Effect of Use on the Market: If there will be no reduction in sales because of copying or distribution, the fair use exemption is likely to apply. This is the most important of the four tests for fair use (Princeton University). (Scenario)

Public Domain

The public domain is a range of intellectual property materials which are not owned or controlled by anyone. (Public Domain diagram)
  • When a copyright expires, the work enters the public domain.
  • A creative work is said to be in the public domain if there are no laws which restrict its use by the public at large.
  • Works created before the existence of copyright and patent laws also form part of the public domain.

Hotlist of PD Image Sites | American Political History Images | Musopen (Music) |

Primary Sources

Sources that provide first hand accounts of events, usually written at the time the event occurred. Examples would be diaries, memoirs, letters, published accounts written at the time of the event, photos and videos documenting the event, government records, census data, oral interviews, and artifacts.
*Secondary sources are an analysis of events that happened and are created by examining primary sources.

National Archives | Primary Source Learning |

Creative Commons

Share, Remix, Reuse — Legally
Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved."

CC Search | Flickr Advanced Search | Firefox CC Search | CC Content Directories | Google Advanced Search (usage)

CC Resource Links

Mmkrill's Favorite Links on creativecommons from Diigo

Code of Best Practices

Educators need to make better use of their fair use rights under copyright law. The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education helps clear away the copyright confusion and, in the process, encourage the use of mass media, popular culture and digital media as a means to build students' critical thinking and communication skills.

What is the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education?
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education is a document that clarifies how fair use applies to the most common situations where media literacy educators make use of copyrighted materials in their work. It provides support and guidance for media literacy educators so that they can make their own reasoned and informed judgments about fair use. It addresses five areas of educational practice:
1. using copyrighted materials in media literacy lessons;
2. using copyrighted materials in creating curricula;
3. sharing curriculum materials;
4. student use of copyrighted materials in their work; and
5. developing audiences for student work.
FAQ's About the Code

Teaching Resources

Case Studies, Videos & Lesson Plans

Curriculum Guide:


Use With/By Students

Learning Everyday

Steal this Preso

YouTube Copyright School

Users' Rights Video

From Media Education Lab

Media Sites


Our Media -
Wikimedia Commons -
Pics4Learning -
Discovery Streaming -
CogDogRoo -
Google CC Search -


Podsafe Audio -
Soundsnap -
Jamendo -


Moving Images Archive -

Digital Citizenship


5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
Teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices. Teachers:
a. advocate, model, and teach safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology, including respect for copyright, intellectual property, and the appropriate documentation of sources.
b. address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.
c. promote and model digital etiquette and responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information.
d. develop and model cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with colleagues and students of other cultures using digital-age communication and collaboration tools.

Fair Use Resource Links

    Session notes (10/2008)