Copyright and intellectual property issues are complex and often ambiguously defined. Unfortunately, it does not appear that copyright law in the United States is going to change substantially in the early 21st century. Before despairing and resolving to give up on student multimedia projects for fear of legal reprisals (or at least the ability to share projects over the Internet via the school website, a blog, or a podcast) teachers as well as students need to learn about Creative Commons. Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) “is a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works.” Everyone involved in education should be familiar with Creative Commons both as content consumers and content producers, wanting to legally access and use digital content. Whether someone is creating a digital story with PhotoStory3, an enhanced podcast with Garageband3, a PowerPoint presentation, or a narrated online slideshow with BubbleShare, Creative Commons licenses and website search tools can provide clear guidance about acceptable and legal uses of digital content to create and share “derivative works” using these materials. These digital resources can include images, music audio files, movies, or any other type of media.
Read the rest here.