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Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 7, 2020



We don't like to talk about this, but you need to understand... Copyright is a real thing, and you are responsible for making sure you have the legal right to use your class resources. Here’s something helpful to make sure the images you are using when creating those class resources are legal for reuse. Go to images.google.com and search for the image you want. Once you have your results, click “Tools” then “Usage Rights” then select one of the “Labeled for Reuse” options. If you are going to be selling the resource on Teachers Pay Teachers, make sure you are allowed to commercially use the images you select. I know it’s a pain, but take a minute to Google “Houston ISD Copyright” for an example of why it matters.

Update - Earlier this week, a school in California was fined $250 for a public showing of a movie. The PTO legally purchased a Blu-Ray copy of The Lion King (2019) and used that for a family movie night fundraiser. What's the problem with that? Well, legally purchasing the disc does NOT include the rights to public performance. You know that FBI warning that comes up at the beginning of the movie. Yep, that's what it's talking about. You can't publicly show a movie even if you legally purchased it. This includes your streaming service subscription. Just because you pay for your own Disney+ subscription (and don't share your account with anyone... right?) that doesn't give you the legal right to stream movies in your classroom.

After the fine was made public on social media, Disney CEO Bob Iger took to Twitter to apologize on behalf of Disney, and publicly promised to personally donate to the PTO. If this is the start of a campaign for copyright law change as it pertains to school use of copyrighted materials, that's one thing. If this was an attempt to mitigate any negative attention to Disney because someone else broke the law, got reported, and had to pay a fine, that's something different.

When it comes right down to it, ignorance is no defense when it comes to breaking the law. Not agreeing with a law does not free you from the consequences of violating it. While I'm sure Mr. Iger's generosity is appreciated, but it does not mean we all have permission from Disney to show whatever we want, whenever we want.

Copyright... it's the law!

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