LESSON

How Fair Use Works

This lesson focuses on copyright and fair use. Students will discuss these concepts and then complete a project demonstrating what they learned.
Grade Level

Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand copyright law
  • Understand the fair use doctrine
  • Make, remix and share content
Essential Questions
  • How do copyright and fair use promote the spread of knowledge and information?
Materials

Vocabulary

copyright [kop-ee-rahyt] (noun) The exclusive right to make copies, license and otherwise exploit a literary, musical or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.

trademark [treyd-mahrk] (noun) Any name, symbol, figure, letter, word or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate specific goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others

fair use [fair yoos] (noun) Reasonable and limited use of copyrighted material so as not to infringe upon copyright

free expression [free ik-spresh-uh n] (noun) The right of people to express their opinions, thoughts or ideas publicly without governmental interference

intellectual property [in-tl-ek-choo-uh l prop-er-tee] (noun) Property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material and trademarks

transform [trans-fawrm] (verb) To change in form, appearance or structure

copyright infringement [kop-ee-rahyt in-frinj-muh nt] (noun) The use of works protected by copyright law by reproducing, distributing, displaying or performing the protected work, or to make derivative works without permission

Source: dictionary.com  

 

Lesson Overview

This lesson focuses on copyright and fair use. Students will discuss these concepts and then complete a project demonstrating what they learned.

 

Procedure

1. Begin the class by asking students to brainstorm what they know about copyright and copyright law. Draw the copyright symbol © on the board. Where do they see this symbol and what does it mean? Ask if any students know the difference between a copyright and a trademark. (Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos. A trademark protects items that help define a company brand, such as its logo.)

2. Tell students that copyrights give inventors and artists exclusive ownership of something they’ve created and prevent them from being copied. This protection gives the owner the opportunity to profit from their creation. Ask students to brainstorm different items that inventors and artists might copyright.

3. Next, ask students what they think the term “fair use” means. Ask students to think about why someone might want to use a song or a work of art but not want to profit from its use? How might others use an invention or work of art fairly and legally? Why might an owner of a copyright want to give permission for someone to use their invention or work of art?

4. Divide the class into small groups of three to four students. Distribute the Understanding Copyright and Shared Reading Questions handouts to all students. Have each group read the Understanding Copyright handout aloud. (Note: If time is short, reading could be assigned the night before.) Ask each group to discuss the questions for one section on the Shared Reading Questions handout. Once the groups finish their discussions, provide an opportunity for students to ask clarifying questions about terms or concepts from the reading.

5. Debrief using the following discussion prompts:

  • Summarize the benefits of copyright law to the individual creators of intellectual property, such as artwork or books.
  • Summarize the benefits of copyright law to the general public.
  • Explain how the fair use doctrine works and how it benefits the promotion of ideas and information.

6. Divide students into small groups of three to four students. Distribute one copy of the Making, Remixing and Sharing Content handout to each group. Ask the groups to review the handout, and then provide time for students to create their projects. If your class has computer access, you can have students produce their projects in digital form.

7. When projects are completed, have students present them to the full class.

 

Alignment to Common Core State Standards

CCSS 9-10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2

Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3

Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

 

CCSS 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2

Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3

Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text