Copyright and creative commons

How copyright licences and creative commons licences work together

Creative Commons licences are a good way for schools to share the materials their teachers write, design and create themselves, while still protecting their ownership over that work. They’re a useful mechanism that, together with the appropriate copyright licences, can help teachers to be really creative in the classroom.

Where a teacher wants to access and share published print material that’s under copyright with students, the best way to ensure compliance with the Copyright Act, is for the school to have a CLNZ print licence.

Teaching could be quite a challenge without access to published content for students. Books, magazines, journals and newspapers all contribute greatly to student learning. New Zealand publishers are doing some excellent work creating content that is specific to the NZ curriculum and that showcases our unique New Zealand culture (take a look at the CLNZ Education Awards finalists).

The Copyright Act limits teachers at unlicensed schools to copying and sharing no more than three pages or three percent from a book, and no more than 50 percent of a published poem or image. Good access to material created by others that is under copyright – educational resources like literacy series and maths texts, iconic New Zealand stories like The Whale Rider and the works of Joy Cowley and Margaret Mahy – supports teaching and can complement and inform the original materials that teachers write themselves and that schools share under creative commons licences.

The best learning environments for students are likely to be those where teachers are creating their own materials – and perhaps taking a creative commons approach to sharing these – and are also able to access published content because the school they teach at has a current print copyright licence.

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