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What can a teacher do on a wiki or blog?

 

These scenarios involve teachers uploading text, images, broadcasts, videos and music onto a blog or wiki. Uploading such material onto a blog or wiki involves two copyright activities; copying and communicating material.  ‘Communication’ of copyright material occurs where content is made available online.

There are special statutory licences and education exceptions in the Copyright Act which enable teachers to copy and communicate material on a wiki or blog. Students rely on different provisions known as ‘fair dealing exceptions’ when copying and communicating material for class and homework tasks.

Scenario 1: Uploading Student Works

John, a primary school teacher, posts samples of student work on the class blog each week. This includes:

  • scanned drawings
  • stop frame animation videos (created by the students)
  • writing assignments copied from the students own blogs.

John publishes the blog to the public internet so that parents of the students, as well as the community generally, can see the work that the students have been doing through the term.

Scenario 2: Making a Podcast

Tracey, a year nine math teacher, creates a podcast for her math students using scanned images from a year nine math textbook.

Tracey creates a class blog and uploads the podcast to the blog for her students to access at home when completing their homework.

Scenario 3: Recording a Broadcast  

Brian, a year 11 English teacher, records a documentary from The National Geographic channel for his students.

He later stumbles across the National Geographic website and copies several paragraphs from the website. Brian uploads the documentary and text onto the class wiki.

Brian instructs his students to watch the documentary and read the paragraphs for homework.

Scenario 4: Making an Audio Book

Henry, a year one teacher, thought it would be a great idea to provide an audio version of the book “Creatures in the Night” for his students to listen to at home when practicing reading. 

Henry has created a class blog and thought he would upload the audio book onto the class blog. Henry has tried to find the audio book of 'Creatures in the Night'. It is not commercially available for purchase anywhere.

Henry decides to create an audio book by recording himself narrate the book and upload the recording onto class blog.

Uploading Student Works

 

John, a primary school teacher, posts samples of student work on the class blog each week. This includes:

  • scanned drawings
  • stop frame animation videos (created by the students)
  • writing assignments copied from the students own blogs.

 

John publishes the blog to the public internet so that parents of the students, as well as the community generally, can see the work that the students have been doing through the term.

What are the copyright implications of John's activities?

 

The copyright implications will depend on whether the student works:

  • Are original works
  • Contain third party material

 


Original student works

Students own copyright in the original work they produce. Therefore, there are no copyright implications arising from John uploading original student works.

Who can access the blog if it only contains original student works?

Access to the blog does not need to be restricted. The blog can be ‘open’ to the public on the internet unless one or more of the students decide not to allow public access to their wiki.

Student works containing third party material

Students rely on fair dealing to copy and communicate third party material (other people’s work).  For fair dealing to apply, the use must be ‘fair’ and for the purpose of:

  • research or study for class (eg copying an image off the internet to include in a homework exercise  or using music from a CD in a podcast or vodcast for a school assignment)
  • criticism or review (eg reviewing a book, CD or film for homework)
  • reporting the news (eg writing an article for the school newsletter on a current news item) 
  • parody or satire (eg writing a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious newspaper article or advertisement for a class exercise)

 

‘Fair’ use

For the use to be ‘fair’, the student should only use what is necessary for the research or study, criticism and review, reporting the news or parody and satire activity.

Students cannot copy an entire work under fair dealing unless it is not available for purchase within a reasonable time at an ordinary commercial price.

Material covered by fair dealing

Students can use any material protected by copyright under fair dealing. Copyright material is divided into ‘works’ and ‘other subject matter’. See ‘What is protected?' for examples of ‘works’ and ‘other subject matter’.

Attribution requirements

Students copying and communicating material under ‘fair dealing’ need to attribute the source material, the copyright owner and author of the work (if different).

For information on how to attribute material, see information sheet 'Labelling School Material'

Can John rely on fair dealing when uploading student works on the blog?

John can rely on fair dealing when uploading student works containing third party material onto the class blog.

Who can access the blog if the students use material under ‘fair dealing’?

The blog must be password protected with access restricted to teachers, students and parents.

 

Free for Educational Material

 

In relying on fair dealing to copy and communicate copyright material, students are limited in how much they can copy and what they can do with the material. For example:

  • Students are unable to copy an entire work or a large portion of a work except in limited circumstances.
  • It is safest if access to the material is limited to students, teachers and parents.
  • Students cannot rely on fair dealing when making works for competitions, such as ArtExpress or Tropfest Junior.
  • Students cannot use material that is protected by an access control technological protection measure.

 

One way of overcoming these barriers is by using ‘free for education’ material. Free for education material is material that is available for students to use without having to rely on fair dealing. Some of the advantages of using ‘free for education’ material include:

  • No copying limits: students can copy an entire work without limitation.
  • No restrictions on access: the material can be made available to the public.
  • Free for education material is unlikely to be protected by an access control technological protection measure.

 

There is a lot of material which is available ‘free for education’.

Creative Commons

One popular source of free for education material is creative commons. Creative commons are a set of licences which creators attach to their work. All creative commons licences allow the material to be used for educational purposes. As a result, material available under a creative commons licence is ‘free for education’. Depending on the type of creative commons licence used, students may also modify and share these materials.
 
For further information on creative commons, see Smartcopying Initiatives: Creative Commons.

Free for education websites

There are also many websites which allow copying for ‘educational purposes’.  See TAB A ‘Website Terms and Conditions’ for further information.

Labelling requirements

All free for education material should be labelled in accordance with the terms of the licence under which it is made available. The copyright owner and author (if different) should also be credited for their work.

For information on labelling, see information sheet 'Labelling School Material'

Who can access the blog if the students only use ‘free for education’ material?

Access to the blog does not need to be restricted. The blog can be ‘open’ to the public on the internet.