Copyright 101 and Licenses

Copyright 101: A Simple Video Lesson in Licenses

Teaching about copyright, Creative Commons, and how to license your work can be a challenge. I've created a lesson to explain this simply. All of the videos I'm creating now on the Cool Cat Teacher TV YouTube channel now have essential questions with them. Feel free to use them with your students.

Copyright 101: A Simple Lesson in Licenses

Essential Questions

  • What is copyright?
  • How long does it last?
  • What are the kinds of copyright?
  • How can I copyright my own work?
  • How can I find works I can use freely?
  • Do I still have to give credit for the work?
  • How can I buy licenses for professional work?
  • What are the penalties for not following copyright?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Don January 15, 2015 - 5:52 am

What are the exceptions or limitations to copywriter for worship services at my church?

Vicki Davis January 15, 2015 - 6:30 am

Wow Don!! I am not an expert in that. There are issues with music and public performance but also if you are recording and retransmitting the works. I do know at a church where I served on the AV committee that the music package we bought for our multimedia system included some licensing capabilities to handle that for us. Performing rights from what I have just looked up typically requires you to pay royalties to the owner of the song. Again, I’d look into this as I do know some software includes licensing capabilities – either license to use the work or a way to pay the royalty. Hope this gets you started to find your answer.

Norah Colvin January 15, 2015 - 11:54 pm

Thanks for this video Vicky. You explained the issues associated with copyright very clearly. I’m sure teachers and students will find it very helpful, as did I. :)

Vicki Davis January 16, 2015 - 6:34 am

Thank you, Norah. It is awesome as they are selecting pictures for their apps that the process of selecting their own license guides them better. One thing we forget is that the license a student is claiming on their work impacts the license of the work they can use and reuse. I think BEFORE they look for pictures you should discuss licensing. Glad it was helpful and thanks (as always) for commenting!


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere