In order to protect the district and make sure our teachers and administrators understand copyright, I have started to inform myself on copyright. I've read two great books that I highly recommend: Copyright for Schools A Practical Guide, 5th Edition and Copyright Catechism II both books by Carol Simpson. I've created a Copyright Kahoot to discuss the topic with administrators and teachers. I've sent emails to staff reminding them of copyright policies.
And while I've done all of this research and I feel like I understand the laws pretty well, I must admit that even I have broken copyright in the past. I used coloring books and created transparencies so I could blow up characters for my bulletin boards. I modified things I found on the web without permission from the owner for use in my classroom. I played music as background noise in my classroom. As a presenter for adult audiences, I almost always played music to get the audience pumped up before a session started.
But since I've taken on the role of Copyright Ambassador, I have really had to look at myself and stop doing some of the things I love to do, like playing music before a session I present. And what makes this even more difficult for me is the fact that some of my favorite "big name" presenters have a great playlist of tunes that they play before they present. Or they show a YouTube music video before they present. I see how the audience reacts to that. They are pumped before the session even starts. I want that in my sessions too. How do I do that and maintain my status as Copyright Ambassador?
I see lots of great presentations shared on Twitter. I love a presentation with a theme. I would LOVE to do a presentation with a Star Wars theme. But to do so, I would be violating copyright if I wanted to use Star Wars related images. Sorry, folks, but Disney is just not going to give you permission to use Star Wars characters for a presentation.
So I guess I am really struggling with doing the right thing. It is not easy being the Copyright Police.