Copyright Flowchart for Students

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 4.43.11 PMStudents (and teachers) may enjoy this decision tree on when and where to post media on the web.  I’m not particularly fond of the ‘use at your own risk’ statement as it seems to dilute the message about NOT using copyrighted material.  It also doesn’t address fair use but it does ask the user to think more deeply about attribution and models courtesy for using others’ work. The article is linked here:




Although the guidelines for using copyrighted music in the classroom (and literally, I mean “in the classroom”)  make it relatively easy and permissable to use most kinds of music, there is often a need to ‘publish’ your video or other media work with royalty-free music.  Examples may be: music to integrate with your school news programs, DVD’s to distribute or sell, or publishing videos or podcasts to websites that don’t police copyrighted material, etc. (like YouTube does)

There are a number of “free” music libraries students and educators can use, but its worth reading the fine print (at least some of it).  The terms of use or TOU are ridiculously boring or, at the very least, pesky to read (you know, the fine print that comes with each new version of software you load such as the latest iTunes version)…but it is vitally important you know its essence before you proceed.

Purple Planet Royalty Free Music;  Free to use, even for commercial use but they require a link- easy enough.

Freeplay Music  Vastly better library but has a lot more “TOU” info to wade through. Does not require a contract in strictly educational settings and/or for personal use.