Students today grow up with powerful technologies which enable them to access, share, copy, generate, and collaborate on creative work in ways that are new and constantly evolving. Understanding the basic ground rules around creative work — rights and responsibilities established by copyright and fair use — is therefore an essential element of being an engaged and ethical digital citizen, alongside such issues as online privacy, security, and cyber bullying. Leading education standards organizations have identified copyright education as part of learning to think critically about how to select, evaluate, and use information in a digital world.
These materials aim to provide accessible and practical information about copyright – its protections, its limitations, and its role in encouraging creativity. Rather than just emphasizing what copyright prohibits, the goal here is to offer useful and positive information about what copyright allows and how students can successfully navigate and rely on copyright in their own roles as creators. The Copyright and Creativity curricula available here were initially developed by the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), which employed a rigorous development process to ensure that its curriculum materials would be accurate, balanced, age-appropriate, and relevant to the education community.

Praise for These Resources

This curriculum walks you through what copyright protects, and what it doesn’t protect. It also takes a balanced approach to teaching fair use and the other limitations of copyright, so students understand their rights as digital citizens.Jerry Berman, founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology and President of the Internet Education Foundation

These lessons are rich and thorough . . . Knowing how to acquire and use creative work, legally and ethically, is one of the essential literacies of our time. The iKeepSafe Copyright curriculum gives me quality, well-vetted, and easy-to-use lessons that are ready to go and ensures that teachers everywhere have the tools to start this critical conversation with their students.Kami Cottrell, educator in the Encinitas Union School District

As a digital literacy educator, I am excited about having these practical, useful tools to teach a complex topic. Finally someone has made copyright, fair use, and creative commons understandable for young people.Diana Graber, Cyberwise co-founder, Cyber Civics founder, Cyber Civics teacher at Journey School, winner of NAMLE 2107 Media Literacy Teacher Award

The curriculum was successful at teaching students about key concepts of copyright. . . Eighty-four percent of students said they learned something new and useful. . . This evaluation indicates that the tested curriculum has the capacity to prepare young people to thrive in the free and open Internet.Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, from the summary of its evaluation the curriculum

These lessons are incredible. They help me teach the importance of copyright and fair use as my class does weekly research and inquiry. The lessons are appropriate for all students ranging from gifted to special education. They are useful in integrating topics of the Common Core. I am thrilled they are available to us!Jennifer Asay, M.Ed., fourth grade teacher

I was encouraged to see that you gave fair use its proper role in the copyright analysis, and you did that in a holistic way. I appreciate the pedagogical challenge of having to present such difficult material in a practical, comprehensible way to kids. This curriculum rises to that challenge.Annemarie Bridy, Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Center for Internet and Society

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