Teaching and Learning About Copyright… Through Videos

Copyright by Pryere (light painting)

Image cc license from Flickr user Pryere: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26628378@N03/4368467112/

Copyright and intellectual property. Fair use and plagiarism. Creative Commons and attribution. Even when one makes an earnest attempt to become better informed about copyright and the surrounding issues and debate, it is challenging to obtain a clear and complete picture of regulations protecting intellectual property and dictating what constitutes fair use.

A full discussion of copyright and fair use is beyond both the scope of a single post and my expertise;  instead, this post showcases four videos that have been valuable in helping different user groups begin to understand the basics of copyright.  As a trainer as well as a learner, I appreciate the value of videos as teaching tools — the videos are generally short and the content succinct, but most importantly, the presentation of information is engaging and sometimes even entertaining.  Learning about copyright can start to feel like a less arduous and impossible task.

By necessity, this list of videos is only a fraction of those available.  As the number of organizations and institutions involved in protecting and debating copyright and fair use proliferate, the number of videos produced also increases.  If you have other videos to recommend, please share these in the comments section following this post!

4. Copyright Clearance Center‘s video “Copyright Basics”:

3. Copyright Clearance Center‘s video “Copyright on Campus”:

2. “A Fair(ly) Use Tale” by Professor Eric Faden (Bucknell University):

1. “Credit is Due (The Attribution Song)” by Nina Paley, artist-in-residence at QuestioningCopyright.org:

More resources:



2 Comments on “Teaching and Learning About Copyright… Through Videos”

  1. SES says:

    As a scholar and now as a teacher, I have found that copyright and fair use issues have always been tricky to understand fully. These resources are tremendously helpful in giving a rundown on the do’s and do not’s and I thank you for them!

    On a related note, Harvard has a terrific guide in .pdf format that outlines the rules and regulations around fair use (some of which is Harvard-specific, but still very useful): http://ogc.harvard.edu/copyright_docs/copyright_and_fair_use.pdf.

  2. KRED says:

    Two other sources of useful content which I found online after the initial post:

    An interesting post is Brian Herzog’s post on copyright and Netflix from 11 August over at Swiss Army Librarian: http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net/2011/08/11/watching-movies-on-netflix-and-copyright-issues/

    And a few videos on copyright, open access, and libraries and human rights, from the IFLA Presidential meeting: http://www.ifla.org/en/news/five-films-now-available-copyright-open-access-libraries-and-human-rights

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