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Copyright Law and the Correctional Educator
Date: January 28, 2017 09:53AM

Copyright Law and the Correctional Educator

With the introduction of photocopy machines and computers, federal copyright law has evolved over the past 40 years. The many subsequent legal interpretations of federal copyright law have become confusing to correctional educators. The question remains, “What materials can a teacher copy and use in the correctional classroom?”

In his article, “Copyright Law and the Correctional Educator,” in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of Correctional Education, John Sample. Ph.D. reviews basic copyright law and cites examples that are familiar to correctional educators.

He provides answers to these questions:
• What can and cannot a teacher copy and distribute in the classroom?
• What is “tangible expression” and how is it protected by copyright law?
• What is the “fair use” privilege and what criteria must be met?
• Why are spontaneity and brevity key factors?

The advent of the internet has allowed correctional educators and their students to access many new learning opportunities. But each innovation brings new challenges and leads to additional laws and regulations. John Sample describes how the TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act of 2002 extends the provisions of the original Copyright Law of 1976 to digital materials and online distance learning.

The information provided in this Journal of Correctional Education article can help correctional educators avoid embarrassing litigation that can result from copyright violations.

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