Q1 Copyright Laws

7. Be Legal & Fair


Have you ever taken something that didn't belong to you? Most honest people have not. Have you ever downloaded music, movies, or games without paying for them? Most honest people probably have. Did you know that when you download material from the Internet you may be infringing on someone's copyright? This Quest is for you to find out what the laws are for using materials found on the Internet. How do the laws apply to you and your activities online?

Key Vocabulary

Fair Use: Fair Use (in US copyright law) is the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.

Copyright: Copyright is the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell a book, musical recording, etc., for a certain period of time.

Public Domain: Public Domain are materials belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright.

Creative Commons License: A Creative Commons license lets you dictate how others may use your work. The Creative Commons license allows you to keep your copyright but allows others to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit and only on the conditions you specify.

I Can Statements

  • follow copyright laws
  • create a digital artifact to demonstrate knowledge of copyright​


1. Visit and read through the Copyright Basics & FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Your teacher may want to go over these with you.

Look for additional answers to common questions at

Videos about Copyright, Fair Use, and Plagiarism

2. Watch one or more of the following videos on copyright, plagiarism and fair use, in addition to the Copyright Kids and Cyberbee resources. Then answer the following seven questions as you are viewing the videos (you are encouraged to copy these questions and paste them into a word processing program or blog, and answer them there).

  1. What is copyright?

  2. How long does the copyright on an original work last?

  3. What is the Fair Use Act?

  4. What is plagiarism?

  5. What types of things can be copyrighted? What cannot be copyrighted?

  6. What is the public domain?

  7. The Fair Use Act allows anyone to use copyrighted materials for educational purposes. What other uses are covered under the Fair Use Act?

Ryan Molton, an artist explains copyright (2:46)

YouTube video (4:42) "Copyright and Fairuse for Student Projects"

YouTube video from WatchKnowLearn "Plagiarism: How to avoid it"

Create a Digital Artifact

3. Demonstrate your learning to your teacher by creating a digital artifact (poster, presentation, infographic) for your portfolio. You may use any program you learned about in Thing Two, Visual Learning Q1, or a presentation or poster program to complete this task. Some sites for finding public domain and copyright free images on the Internet:

Include the following in your digital artifact:

  • A summary or illustration of some of the information you learned about during this Quest
  • Some downloaded public domain images or clip art to help illustrate your learning
  • Appropriate citations for your images

Copyright Quiz

4. Successsfully complete the Copyright Quiz. Your teacher has access to the answers to check it for accuracy. We trust you will earn a passing score on the copyright quiz and be ready for the next Quest. Good luck!

Additional Activity

Write a short personal reflection piece describing a time when you unknowingly broke copyright laws. Based on what you have learned in this Quest, who might your actions have affected and why? What steps might you take next time to ensure you are being legal and fair.

Completing this Quest

In order to successfully complete this Quest you must provide your teacher with accurate information about copyright by handing in your questions and quiz results. Save your digital artifact to your File Space or post it to your digital portfolio online.

  Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

   I am ready for the next Quest, The Source

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

2. Digital Citizen

b. Engage in positive, safe, legal, and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.

c. Demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

Websites and Applications