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School Board of the City of Virginia Beach policy 6-63

Copyright Materials

School board members, employees, students and citizens who may have access to equipment capable of making copies are to abide by the copyright law cited as a legal reference to this policy. The superintendent shall be responsible for promoting an understanding of the law among the persons concerned.

The administration is to post appropriate copyright infringement warning notices on or near all equipment capable of making copies.

Copyright Infringement
The legal or insurance protection of the division will not be extended to individuals who violate copyright laws.
    Legal Reference: U. S. Copyright Act of 1909 as amended by
     Public Law 94-553, Section 107. (1976)
                  IMPORTANT REMINDER

Research confirms the benefits of using visual media to support learning. The brain processes images simultaneously as opposed to text which is processed sequentially. Images are processed 60,000 times faster and lead to long-term retention. Use of visual media, especially motion media can meet the needs of a diverse student population. Best practices call for the integrated, interactive use of visual media, but copyright laws must be respected and complied with.
  • Films, regardless of format, are copyright protected by Federal Law-Title 17 , United States Code, Public Law 94-553 Stat. 2541 as are other original works
  • Showing motion media in a classroom is a public performance
  • A Fair Use Exemption applies ONLY when all 5 of the following AV Guidelines are met
    1. Nonprofit educational
    2. Classroom or similar place
    3. Instructors and pupils
    4. Legally acquired copy
    5. Face-to-face teaching activities (The motion media must be integral to the specific objective of that day for the students in that class.)
  • The last criterion is usually the one that is problematic. General educational value does not qualify. When students in different classes are grouped together and films are shown that do not directly support the objectives in a specific class, there is no Fair Use Exemption and this is a violation of copyright law unless Public Performance Rights [PPR] are included or purchased in addition to the price of the film.
  • There are companies that will sell blanket or umbrella licenses. If your school has one, remember that only films and producers designated by the contract are covered.

    question mark  Is My Proposed Use of Copyrighted Material a ‘Fair Use’?” question mark  

The current practice for determining whether a particular use may be justified as a “fair use” is to have the user (whether student, teacher or administrator) apply reasoning and critical thinking skills to analyze their own proposed use rather than relying on charts or so-called experts. Getting paid or not getting paid is only 1 of the 4 factors** that are weighed in the analysis.

Two documents were given out at the mandatory copyright session at our 2010 Library Media Specialists’ (LMS) Conference. The recommendation is for the LMS to make copies of “Supporting the Fair Use Reasoning Process" and work through process to determine if there is a justification in a particular case. The individual(s) should keep the written documentation as evidence of having thoughtfully concluded that the proposed use is indeed a “fair use.” Helping our Students Ethically Navigate the 21st Century Information Landscape.pdf.

Please note the emphasis on transformative use (not to be confused with changing format). A transformative use is one that differs from the original. For example, showing the Disney version of Pocahontas in a sociology class and asking the students to describe the stereotypes, or having a social studies class examine the film for inaccuracies in terms of clothing, food, shelter of the Native Americans would likely have a stronger justification for fair use than showing it as a culminating activity at the end of a unit on Jamestown with no analysis. The original intent of the filmmaker was to entertain. When the purpose of the use changes to analysis and critique, the use is considered transformative. Contrast this with using popular music as the background for a project when the music is not contributing to the objectives and is only there because of its appeal to the audience.

“Supporting the Fair Use Reasoning Process” begins with some things that teachers may do according to the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy” if reasoning and critical thinking are applied to the situation and determined to be justified.

There is rarely a clear cut answer, and we want to equip ourselves with the skills to handle the many scenarios that arise as our access to nearly limitless amounts and varieties of resources increases.

Each school was also given a copy of Copyright Clarity by Renee Hobbs at the June 2010 LMS session. This resource may be helpful in your analysis.

You can always ask permission, but learning to analyze our uses falls in line with becoming 21st Century learners and leaders.  And finally, always cite your source.

Federal Law-Title 17 , United States Code, Public Law 94-553 Stat. 2541- Six rights of a copyright owner are: reproduction, adaptation, distribution, public performance, public display, and digital transmission of sound recordings.
Title 17, U. S. Code,
Public Law 94-553,
90 Stat.254 Grants exceptions to the copyright holder’s rights
Fair use exemptions-Section 107 (Statute)
Attempt to balance between the rights of the authors with the rights of others
For the advancement of knowledge & scholarship

**Section 107 also sets out four factors (or four tests of fair use) to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:
  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  • and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
            17 USC, §107
Links to Helpful Copyright Information Web Sites
Copyright Issues & Fair Use
10 Big Myths      (      
By Brad Templeton

Circular 22 - How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work    

Copyright and Common Sense (
Excellent Video Tutorials for Teachers and Students to Learn about Copyright and Common Sense. There are big issues that impose themseleves persistently in this digitally focused culture. Students need to learn that it is not only because it is available online it can be used. There are rules and conventions at play for sharing and re-suing digital content.

Copyright and Fair Use    (    
Stanford University.

Copyright & Fair Use       (
In the classroom, on the Internet and the WWW. University of Maryland University College.

Copyright Awareness For Students (
When students use copyrighted media without proper permissions, there's a mentality that "we won't get caught" or “I bought it legally, so I can use itů”. This video will give examples of lawsuits and licensing that we should pay attention to and ultimately migrate to a media permissions process.

Copyright Awareness for Administrators and Superintendents  (
Are our teachers and staff modeling ethical behavior when using digital media?

Copyright Confusion (
An online community for sharing.

Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.    (
Would you like to get permission to reproduce copyrighted content?

Copyright Decision Map       (
University of Minnesota. for young kids to understand copyrights.

The Copyright Society of the USA (

Cyberbee        (

Education World PD Center - The Educator's Guide to Copyright and Fair Use
NOTE: Click on the "x" to close out the boxes that pop up.

Media Literacy, Copyright and Fair Use ( )
Lesson Plans, Video Case Studies and Music Videos for Teaching about Copyright and Fair Use - Media Education Lab, Temple University.

Graphics - Images - Multimedia - Music (Podcasting, Downloading, etc.) - Television
AUP-13Net        (

Copyright & Fair Use Guidelines for educational multimedia
Guidelines developed during the CONFU process.

Copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students      (
Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students.

Copyright-International    (
Uses the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention).

Crash Course in Copyright
( Rights on using images, videos, words, songs, designs, layouts, illustrations, diagrams, charts, graphs.

DMCA Cases     (
Electronic Freedom Foundations (EFF) website - (Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA")

Licensing Digital Information     (
Understanding the phrases and legal terminology in Licensing Agreements.

PBS Copyright        (
Reference guides for educators.

Podcasting Legal Guide         (
Legal issues specific to podcasting and for bloggers. Cross references Electronic Frontier Foundation guides for Blogging.

Scholarly Communication     (
It's your copyright and intellectual property...until you give it away! Information on how to manage your intellectual property, fair use guidelines, and pre-publishing suggestions.

Government & Legal Cases
Contribute to database of school district infringement actions      (

CONTU final report        (
Lee A. Hollaar has created a web site that posts, The Final Report of the National Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU).

Court Cases
Provided by the American Library Association.

LOC © The Library of Congress Web site   (

LOC (Library of Congress) Fact Sheet       (
Circulars and Fact Sheets in .pdf format.

Search US Code
Cornell Law School - Search Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

Teacher's Guide to Intellectual Property (

To Link or Not to Link article           (
Annenberg Web site - Copyright Issues Present Ongoing Dilemma: To Link or Not To Link?

Public Domain
Public Domain Chart     (
When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain by Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina.

Teaching Copyright
Teaching Copyright        (
Teaching students about copyrights surrounding digital rights in a balanced way. Open your classroom up to discussions, let your students express their ideas and concerns over copyrights.
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