Copyright and New Technologies

I attended an Australian Copyright Council workshop on New Technologies for Education, focusing on learning management systems (iLearn for us) and copyright.  There were some surprises…and not always good!  The following rules are for material on secure, password protected learning management systems:

  • We can copy and upload 10% or 1 chapter of a publication into iLearn,  but this applies across all courses in iLearn.  Two people cannot upload two separate chapters of the same book for separate courses at the same time!  How would you know if you were duplicating?
  • Linking or embedding is the safest way to provide publications access, but the link must point to a site which has used the material legally
  • You can upload and use images from any source into iLearn,  but you must attribute the source
  • Where possible, use Creative Commons images and music, attributing the source
  • You can print out multiple copies of a digital image,  but you cannot print out an image and photocopy it multiple times without infringing copyright
  • Providing material to students participating in online courses from overseas is a concern.  Their access to material may be governed by different copyright rules

There was much more, and many of these points are covered in information sheets provided at

Copyright and Creative Commons

During our Drop-In Days we were asked about copyright.  What can teachers use in the classroom without infringing copyright?  Where can we find images, sounds, video to embed in blogs, Blackboard, Moodle etc without recourse? What’s legal, what’s not?

Copyright is a minefield!  We recommend that you use the Smartcopying website, the official (MCEETYA) guide for Australian schools, to check out information sheets, resources and all things copyright. 

Creative Commons is a way of licensing works and resources that allows sharing, without the legal minefield of copyright. The website for Creative Commons states that it “is an international non-profit organisation that provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally.”  There are rules.  In its simplest form, if a resources is labelled CC, you must attribute it to the author.  This link gives an insight into the licensing arrangements.

Where can you find images, sounds, music available under the Creative Commons licensing? This paper describes sources and how to search within Google, Flickr and other sites for such resources.
Creative Commons Images and Sounds

Our favourite sites:
Flickrcc  for images
Freeplay Music for music of many different genres
Jamendo for even more variety in music