Plagiarism, Copyright, and Creative Commons


  • You should be curious about which infomercials got the highest score in the survey. Click here to find out the result!
  • Your grade for the tool infomercial project is posted.

As I mentioned, today we will talk mainly about copyright law and how the law affect you as a 21st century student, teacher, and citizen. It is VERY important to know otherwise you may end up violating the law without your intention and awareness.

What is Plagiarism?

According to UGA’s “A Culture of Honesty“, plagiarism is defined as “submission for academic advancement the words, ideas, opinions or theories of another that are not common knowledge, without appropriate attribution to that other person.” This is same as STEALING other’s property.

If you take other’s work (plagiarism), it is unethical (of course!) but also most times you end up breaking copyright law, which means it is illegal.

What is copyright law?

A form of protection to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works” (US Copyright Office, 2012).

With the advent of the Internet, people can easily access and copy others’ works without knowing if they are protected by copyright. However, most Web content is copyrighted. Thus, if you use the Web content without proper citation or attribution, you are committing plagiarism and violating the law. To use any copyrighted media such as images, music, and videos, you need to get a permission from the creator.

Teachers should be clearly aware of copyright so that they do not break the law when designing their class and looking for web resources for their class. Also, it is very IMPORTANT for teachers to teach students this as one of the 21st century skills. If you want to know more about copyright, you may want to read this article (only 2 pages and it should worth it!).

Creative Commons License

Then, is there any way that teachers can use web resources in their teaching while respecting copyright? The answer is Creative Commons License!

Creative Commons license was developed for those who want their works to be shared with others. This license allows content creators to opt out of some or entire copy rights and place their works in the public domain. There are six main licenses.

Creative Commons Images
Flikr is a good place to search for creative commons images.
Google Images also let you search for copyright free images.

Then, how would you cite a photo from the web? You need to provide the following information:

  • The creator/author
  • The title
  • The URL where the work is hosted (if available)
  • The type of licence 
Prism from Keri's Future Quilt by Keri Valentine, available under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 at

Prism from Keri’s Future Quilt by Keri Valentine, available under Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0

Royalty Free Musics
Free Play Music
Creative Commons Licensed Music

How to credit?
Example:  “This video features the song “Desaprendere (Treatment)” by fourstones, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.”

Creative Commons Videos
YouTube has started allowing user to upload their videos with Creative Commons licensing. Attribution is automatic under the YouTube CC license (the video will automatically show the source videos’ titles underneath the video player).

Other Copyright-Related Resources
Wikimedia Commons is another great place to find photos, videos, music, and even animations that you are free to use.
More information on how to credit CC licensed work Where you can find whether you break the rule of plagiarism.  Similar to Turnitin, but free.


If we have time, we will watch this video. This video introduces an interesting perspective about being introvert and its power on creativity. What implications does this video have to you as a future teacher? 


For Friday:

  • The 3rd reading assignment is due. 
  • We will start talking about the stop animation project.

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