What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

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What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby pokedmund » 24 Sep 2010, 05:22

Hope you can help, I've read Alex's blog on Copyright - http://www.tefl.net/alexcase/teaching/t ... l-teacher/ - and was a little shocked! I remember doing my CELTA and was informed that generally, to make sure that I did reference any material I used from books, internet, music, artists, CDs, etc, etc.

My main question is, if I use any material out there in the world, if I reference where I got it from, is that ok?

The reason I am asking this is because I have been told to teach Kindergarten (3-5 year olds) english, and one of the best methods I was thinking about was using music. I could use music to teach them how to say hello, how are you, etc etc.

Now, there are many materials on the web which have what they call "free songs" to download and use, but one website - http://www.dreamenglish.com/freedownload - has said that if their music is used for more than 10 classroom (lessons) then there is a copyright fee involved.

So...my point is, if I were to bring my guitar into the class and start playing it and using the songs lyrics (or altering it slightly, changing the music slightly), would this still infringe on copyright?

For the intermediate - advance students, they've complained that their text books are boring, so I've offered use the same topics found in the text book, but to get some pictures and names that Hong Kong people are more familiar with than those found in the text book....

for example, the topic is on hobbies, and the text book uses fossil collecting. I've decided to change this to a collection of Gundam figures (not that the whole class likes Gundam) but I'm sure that they would be able to understand this a bit more.

Again....is this against the copyright too? Even if I re-word the questions et al?

Hope someone can help...but then again, I've seen small infringements of copyright in my work place already!!!
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Re: What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby Alex Case » 26 Sep 2010, 13:27

The whole point of my blog post was to show how impossible it is for almost anyone to follow all those rules, and therefore to prompt some discussion on what a fair amount of breaking of those rules would be. In fact, in American law there is a concept of fair use, and photocopying one page of a textbook for a whole class is generally agreed to fit within that- though no one will know until a publishers try and fail to sue! In the UK there is no concept of fair use, and you can only make one copy of up to a chapter of a textbook, but no class sets of even a paragraph is allowed. In fact, publishers have even started asking for permission to quote a sentence or two of another book! Not sure what the rules and reality are in your situation.

With texts, you can generally photocopy a story for a class and of course make up your own questions. You are not supposed to change the format of the text though, meaning no typing it into your computer, or even I suppose copying it from the webpage into Word before printing it, and no changing the actual text, e.g. simplifying it (although gapfills etc are okay I guess). You can of course write your own questions. Again, most people break those rules all the time.

With music, you are supposed to pay to perform a copyright song, but then you are also supposed to pay to play music in your restaurant, but who the hell really does?? Also, there might be exceptions for educational use, as there are for some use of audiovisual stuff like videos

Wish I could give a clearer answer, but with the rules being so sill,y how much we decide to bend them is an individual choice!
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Re: What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby systematic » 03 Oct 2010, 04:21

Alex is quite right - do you declare your gig to the Performing Rights Society or the GEMA if you play your guitar and sing a few Bob Dylan songs in the park among a group of friends squatting on the grass?

Real copyright infringement would be when someone photocopies or otherwise digitally reproduces and mass prints entire bootlegged tetxbooks for distribution and/or sale as part of a syllabus in a school. I actually know of one well known state-run university in Thailand that does this regularly on a large scale, using their own, on-campus, professional printing works! They've been doing it for years, and they do not have a publisher's licence for local imprint. In India it is rampant.
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Re: What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby Alex Case » 03 Oct 2010, 05:26

There is an urban myth of the British Council(?) in Milan(?) being fined/ charged hundreds of thousands of pounds for copyright infringement, but even if that is true it's the only case I've ever heard of. The last thing publishers want to do is annoy schools, i.e. their customers.
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Re: What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby pokedmund » 03 Oct 2010, 17:38

Many thanks to you both. It is such a grey area, I couldn't think how one wouldn't break the rules.

Onwards with my teaching!
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Re: What materials won't infringe on Copyright?

Unread postby Alex Case » 14 Oct 2013, 06:01

Thanks for Pokedmund for the mention. The post has now moved here:
http://tefltastic.wordpress.com/2009/04 ... l-teacher/
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