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Educational Use Of Copyrighted Material

Aug 18, 2007
The educational use of copyrighted material may seem like a two-edged sword for many educators. Since most copyrighted material is created to generate a profit for the person who had the initial concept for a product and took the time to copyright their tangible creation, then it is natural to assume that they deserve to be protected from anything that takes away from their ability to make a profit.

The educator is part of a school system that might mean large profits to someone who has a copyright on some material that the school system wants to include on their required reading list. The education use of copyrighted material might include a teacher that wants to incorporate the copyrighted material in the daily lectures that are done in class by the teacher.

The video tapes that are copyrighted are planned to be used with the simple intent to enhance the learning experience of the students in the classes. The teacher has their hands tied from using these videos or other written material until the educational use of copyrighted material is presented to the owner of the copyright and they give their permission for the school system to include it in their curriculum.

The person that owns the copyright will take into consideration how the copyrighted material will be used by the school system. Even after their approval is given, the copyright owner will realize that the data for the copyrighted material will be exposed to many people and viewed numerous times through many classes. The educational use of copyrighted material will still be monitored closely by the school system.

Since the teacher has permission to use the material in class, they might feel like it is alright to make numerous copies of the material for distribution in class. This is a totally different access to the information that will again require approval for the educational use of copyrighted material. Anytime a copyrighted work is duplicated without the express consent of the owner, the act can be considered an infringement on the copyright of the material.

All of these controls are in place for a reason. The educational use of copyrighted material must be understood by everyone that is exposed to the material. Copies can not be given to businesses to show how the class earned their science award because the exposure of the copyrighted material to an outside interest could be manipulated into a profit rendering event for that company.

The school could create calendars with the data from a quip in the copyrighted work mentioned to commemorate the Senior Class winning the award. The sales of the calendar are meant to benefit the school in some way, but a portion of those profits actually belongs to the person who created the information that to some degree, the award was made possible. All efforts to protect the created work are covered under the copyright laws.
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