Before You Copy


Course Introduction:

Research emphasize the growing problem of misusing information resources. Misuse includes copying, plagiarizing and downloading files. In school environment it is always assumed that School Librarian is the acting officer in protecting resources and ensuring adherence to laws. Educating the school community about copyright laws is a joint responsibility between administrators, librarian, teachers and students because the consequences would be costly to the school community in all. Administrators and librarians ensure policies are in place and everyone knows about it and they try to watch it whenever possible. But it is up to teachers and their students to actually adhere to it.

This course is designed for both teachers and students (8 to 12 years old) to take it together. The course brings in hand the type of information that is concise and focused on what they need to know while working with information resources inside the classroom.

Since most of the research done by students to complete class projects are done using the internet, the course will give more attention to citing internet resources properly.

Taking this course will help learn how to respect others work and at the same time protect your own work.

Unit One: Learn and Listen

Unit Objectives:

  • Assess knowledge of terms and law.
  • Introduce Copyright law, Fair Use and Plagiarism.
  • Understand the history of Copyright.(Since when?)
  • Familiarize with the process.(How it is working)


1. Copyright2.1.jpg is a sign you see on

a) Copy Machines
b) Book Covers
c) Copy Paper

2. Fair Use is the right to

a) Use Information on the internet.
b) Copy others work.
c) Limited use of others work.

3. Copyright law was enacted to

a) Protect users right in using information.
b) Protect work creators.
c) Protect publishers right to sell books.

You can find the answers for these question at the end of this unit.


Now lets learn what is Copyright. Every time you use any kind materials from the school library for class projects; this work is PROTECTED Copyright2.1.jpg

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States(title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This

protection is available to both published and unpublished works.Copyright gives the creator the power to control any form of reproduction/usage of the original work. There are certain conditions where you do not have to obtain permission to use it.

1. Public Domain: works produced by the government, expired copyright or works created over 75 years ago.

2. Permission:given by the copyright owner.

3. Fair Use: is granted for educational purposes but under some restrictions.

Copyright law in the United States has undergone many changes since it was first introduced by James Madison in 1787 to our present day. These changes were to balance the act against rights of both owners and users. Also, over the years many types of resources were introduced such as; computer files, CDs, DVDs and internet files.

Follow a detailed time line using this link.

Time Line

Copyright is currently granted to all works form the moment it was created in a tangible format without any notice. This means that even if the work doesn't say it is protected; you still have to seek permission from the owner.Otherwise the owner has the power to file a lawsuit against you.

Plagiarism [pley-juhriz-uhm]is an important term for you to know. According to Merriam Webster online dictionary; to Plagiarize is to "TO STEAL and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own, TO USE (another's production) without crediting the source, TO COMMIT literary theft and present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."

Plagiarizing is a serious violation of the copyright law that could be costly to your academic future. In a study by the Center for Academic Integrity, 77% of undergraduates think that cutting and pasting without proper citation was not serious. Researchers concluded that this misconception is due to limited understanding of what plagiarism mean and also because those who committed it weren't seriously punished.

But this not always the case, many teachers and professors now use plagiarism software that detect those kind of violations. Also Schools are acting to these cases more seriously.

Here's few examples of plagiarism cases

1)Canada's Simon Fraser U. Suspends 44 Students in Plagiarism Scandal Forty-four students at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia who were involved in a plagiarism "scheme" were suspended after nearly a year long investigation into allegations of academic dishonesty. Students at the University who purchased custom designed projects for an economics assignment were also uncovered during the investigation and received failing grades for the course. Ref:

2)British Student Says University was Negligent for Not Stopping His Plagiarism Michael Gunn, an English major at a British university, admits that he plagiarized throughout his academic career. In a few weeks, Gunn is scheduled to complete his degree, but the university is threatening to rescind his grades and withhold his diploma. Ref:

Cost of Plagiarism:

While the use of the internet is making plagiarism even more easier. You always have to think of the consequences. According to the examples above students who committed plagiarism were subject to

  • Suspension of study.
  • failing course grades.
  • Receiving an unethical conduct note in their academic file.


This video is to sum up the main ideas learned in the unit. use the free space Unit One Free Space to take notes while watching it.

What is Copyright?

Real Life Situation:

In the light what you learned in this unit. Please follow the story and try to identify things you find odd about decisions taken in the scenario. school scenario

Assessment Answers:

1.b - 2.c - 3.b

Unit Two: Protect Oneself and Others

Unit Three: Practice Your Rights

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