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Understanding copyright laws can be very difficult especially for students.  In a nutshell, creators of such content as images, videos, literary works and music automatically own the copyright to their creations and as a result, have the right to manage and sell the product as they wish.  In other words, in order to make use of someone else's work, one must be granted permission from the original artist; otherwise, it is illegal to use it.  

Consequently, the purpose of copyright protection law is to guarantee creators the right to profit from their work.  However, this can be problematic as most photographers, artists, writers and musicians want to publicize samples of their creations for the purpose of increasing sales.  Unfortunately in this technological age, once a piece of work is released, it is difficult to control who has access to it and what it will be used for.  The good news is Creative Commons offers a simple solution to understanding and making use of the sometimes confusing copyright laws.

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive in an easy to understand format.  It should be noted that Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright but rather replace the individual negotiations needed for each request as required under the "all rights reserved" criteria. 

For a further explanation of copyright and Creative Commons, click on the link below:     
Video: Commoncraft Copyright and Creative Commons

Recently, there have been two developments educators should be aware of:

1.  Creative Commons has further simplified their license selection web page to offer users additional assistance in selecting the right license.  Users just need to answer a few questions and the appropriate license will be chosen.  To notify visitors of the specific copyright details, web page designers can copy and paste the embed code to display the appropriate Creative Commons logo on their website.  Click here to access the Creative Commons licensing web page directly.

2. Within the last several weeks, the Supreme Court of Canada has made several landmark decisions which have drastically changed the country's copyright laws. Please visit the following link for more details:
Video: What the Supreme Court 's copyright rulings mean for you

In summary, if you are unsure as to whether or not a creative piece is copyrighted, it is always a good idea to ask the originator of the work first before using it.

This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.


license, licensing specific photos with a Creative Commons. "Copyright and Creative Commons | Common Craft."Useful Handcrafted Videos | Common Craft.   

     N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2012.

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Nowak, Peter. "What the Supreme Court's copyright rulings mean for you - Technology & Science - CBC News." - Canadian News Sports 

     Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 12 July 2012. Web. 25 July 2012.

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photo credit: <a href="">Peter Leth</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a

photo credit: <a href="">mr. nightshade</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a 


photo credit: <a href="">Peter Leth</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a 


photo credit: <a href="">Ian Sane</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a 


photo credit: <a href="">Ian Muttoo</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a 

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Tags: commons, copyright, creative, legal


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