Copyright Do's and Don'ts for Schools

By Carol Simpson

DO make sure that all AV material shown to students directly relates to the curriculum.

DON'T show films or videos for reinforcement or reward. You may rent movies for such performances, paying a minimal public performance fee, from suppliers such as Movie Licensing USA. Video rental stores cannot authorize you to give public performances.

DO ask your faculty to sign a copyright compliance agreement.

DON'T loan VCRs or DVD-Rs with patch cords. Watch for questionable situations: why would a teacher need two recorders except to copy programs?

DO write the record date on all videos you record.

DON'T copy commercial computer software, except to make an archival (one that isn't used) copy.

DO keep receipts and purchase orders for all videos and computer software. Keep the catalog (or pertinent pages) to verify purchase of public performance rights.

DON'T copy cartoon or TV or film characters for decorations, bulletin boards, or handouts.

DO require teachers to verify recording date and source for all homerecorded videos. Fair use guidelines say that programs must be used for classroom instruction within 10 days of taping.

DO write for permission to retain recordings of useful programs. The worst a copyright holder can do is say no.

DO remember that the person who pushes the button is also liable. So is the principal who knows copyright is being violated.

DO keep a link to Cable in the Classroom Online to verify taping rights from the various networks.

DON'T apologize for obeying federal law. If you would like a free copy of the law, visit the Copyright Office Web site for a copy of Circular 92.

Carol Simpson is a professor, lawyer, and the author of Copyright for Administrators (Linworth Publishing, 2008).

Copyright & Recording Guidelines from CIC

The Laws

Copyright Law of the U.S.

Updates to Current Copyright Laws - Oct. 13, 2008

The Basics

Digital Millenium Copyright Act


Brief Guides

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright - for students and teachers

Copyright Website - Endeavoring to provide real world, practical copyright information for over a decade.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.