St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) supports the rights of copyright holders as dictated by the Copyright Act of 1978. SMCPS recognizes that copyright covers published and unpublished works. It is important that students are taught about copyright and fair use especially in our digitally connected world. Copyrighted materials can be reproduced in moderation when used for news reporting, teaching, research, and criticism. This is known as "Fair Use" as determined by Section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Act. In order to determine fair use, four areas of the reproduction need to be considered:
The Purpose and Character of the Use
The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
The Amount or Substantiality of the Portion Used
The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for or Value of the Work
It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher and the school library media specialist to collaborate on lessons that teach ethical use of information and plagiarism. Citing sources is important so you don't represent someone else's words as your own. Web sites like Easy Bib, Citation Machine and Noodle Tools are available to help students create a bibliography for works cited.
To learn more, visit
- American Library Association Copyright
- United States Copyright Office: Copyright Right Law and Frequently Asked Questions
- Copyright Advisory Network
- National Education Association Intellectual Property page.
- Columbia University web site What is Fair Use?
- Center for Media and Social Impact: The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education