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When staff want to add materials to learning resources, whether they are resources they’re intending to use in class, or material to supplement learning that they want to put into My Dundee, they are used to checking the materials to ensure their accuracy. However, a big concern of staff at present, is ensuring they have the relevant permissions to use them. For many educators, this is a minefield, and may even deter them from finding valuable resources.

Over the course of next week, we will look at how you can search for resources, images, audio, video, research data, or even complete learning resources that others have created. We’ll focus on how you can ensure the material you can finding has the permissions that allow to use it in your teaching. We’ll then look at how you might use these to engage your students.  Finally, we’ll look at how you could share the materials you have created with others – even those outside Dundee.

What is Copyright?

This is what Wikipedia says about copyright:

“Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves

Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to certain forms of creative work. Some, but not all jurisdictions require “fixing” copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and “moral rights” such as attribution (Copyright, 2017)

To reproduce a copyrighted image, piece of music, animation, video, etc. you may have to pay to reuse it for your own purposes or get permission from the creator of the original work to use it. In other cases, permission for sharing may have been granted by the original creator – it is these resources that are developed with the intention of being shareable that we are concentrating on next week.

Metaphorical depiction of Corporate Capitalism fighting the Public Domain with Free Culture being offered as the 'Achilles Heel'.

“BATTLE OF COPYRIGHT” flickr photo by Christopher Dombres  shared into the public domain using (CC0)


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