Copyright And Fair Use Lesson Plans

Lesson plans and materials to help you teach about copyright and fair use 

These lessons engage advanced high school and college learners in understanding the role of copyright and fair use to support innovation. Created by Renee Hobbs, Sandra Braman and Katie Donnelly, these lesson plans help learners understand the purpose of copyright, the doctrine of fair use, the Codes of Best Practices, and the future of copyright law.

I.  Overview, Context and Background. Learn why it's important for educators to explore issues of copyright and fair use with students. 

II. Lessons 

1. Understanding Copyright. Learn about how copyright law protects both the rights of owners and the rights of users in order to promote creativity for the good of society. 

2. The Cost of Copyright Confusion. Explore how lack of knowledge about copyright and fair use negatively affects teaching and learning.

3. Defining and Applying Fair Use. Learn more about Section 107 of the Copyright Act and see how fair use and transformativeness applies to the practice of teaching and learning.

4. The Five Principles. Examine the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education to learn how educators use it as a tool in making decisions about the use of copyrighted materials to promote critical thinking and communication skills.

5. Advocacy. Learn how ideas about copyright are in transition as a result of changes in communication technologies  and appreciate how the "best practices" model enables creative communities to develop a robust interpretation of fair use.

III. Resources for Learning More. Books, videos and articles for extending your learning.

VIDEO. What's Copyright?

VIDEO. User Rights, Section 107