Copyright and Trademark Guidance for Teachers
When you are designing your lessons, it is important that you consider the copyright and trademark protections of any materials you use. EduMEE cannot give legal advice to you. However, we have created EduMEE’s policy on the treatment of protected materials.
EduMEE’s Treatment of Copyright and Trademark Material
EduMEE will respond as follows to situations involving the possible use of trademark and/or copyright material on this platform:
- When EduMEE receives DMCA notifications informing us of the use of copyright materials on our platform, we will immediately remove the material in question. This might mean that your class will temporarily be taken down until you remove the identified copyright material from your listing or if you can show that the material in question is not copyright;
- When EduMEE receives the notification of trademark infringement involving a logo, we immediately remove the identified material. Your class may be taken down temporarily until you remove the identified trademarked material from your listing;
- When EduMEE receives the notification of trademark infringement involving a wordmark, we immediately evaluate the claim and determine whether the identified material needs to be removed. Your class will be taken down temporarily until you remove the identified trademarked material from your listing.
Copyright and trademark protections
Copyright protects creative works, such as books, photographs, images, art, movies, videos, and music. If somebody has the copyright to such creative work, it means that they have certain exclusive rights to the content, including the exclusive right to reproduce the content. An exception to this would-be public domain, which means the material is no longer subject to copyright. Under the ‘fair use’ principle, copyrighted materials may be used without infringement for certain purposes, including for criticism and non-profit education, so long as certain legal criteria are met (see more on fair use in the ‘resources’ section below).
Trademarks protect the use of names, words, logos, and symbols that have been used or registered to represent a specific company or product.
You are not allowed to use someone else’s copyrighted photograph, image, video, music, or your own reproduction (e.g., photograph) of any copyrighted creative work. Exceptions would be creative commons, public domain, fair use materials. You’ll need to make sure that you comply with any open-source license terms, which may include adding the image attribution in your class listing
Materials used in class
You may show, read, discuss, or distribute any materials in class that are in the public domain. You may not use copyrighted materials such as images and video clips during class unless they fall under ‘fair use’. Under this ‘fair use’ clause, you may be allowed to very briefly use copyrighted materials as a reference or for clearly educational purposes. Under this same clause, you may also be able to discuss a copyrighted work for the purpose of criticism and analysis. But please be aware that there are a number of criteria that must be met for this to be considered ‘fair use’ for copyright purposes (you can read more about ‘fair use’ in the reference section).
If you reference a trademarked name, word, logo, or symbol owned by or registered to a specific company or product, it is important to avoid any confusion and make clear that your use does not imply any sort of affiliation with, sponsorship by, or relationship with the trademark owner or their products/services.
We cannot provide legal advice on individual questions or cases of copyright or trademark infringement; we hope the above explanations and guidelines were helpful. Here is a list of EduMEE’s suggested best practices:
For your class listings:
- Use content that is in the public domain
- Alternatively, consider purchasing a licensed image, and making sure you comply with the terms of its license.
- As a third option, check out creative commons, which provides free open-source licenses for images; make sure that you comply with the image’s license terms and add the image attribution in your class listing
- If you have to reference any trademarked word, logo, or symbol in a class title, figure out how to put it into context that reflects how it will be used educationally
- Use a disclaimer in your class description that the class has no relationship with the trademark’s owner or product.
- Use any content in the public domain or any content that you have licensed to use in class
- Only use copyrighted materials if they fall under the ‘fair use’ principle
EduMEE Respects Others’ Intellectual Property Rights
Our Terms of Service prohibit you from using our platform in a way that infringes on anyone else’s copyright or trademark protections. If you violate anyone else’s copyright or trademark protections in your class listing or teaching materials, you can be personally liable and could have to pay monetary damages and the other side’s attorney fees in a lawsuit.
We reserve the right to take down any material posted on our platform that may violate someone else’s intellectual property rights. We may do so in response to a “DMCA takedown notice” after a copyright owner has submitted a copyright infringement complaint. If we receive such a notice and takedown your class listing, we will let you know and provide you the opportunity to submit a counter-notice, or to update your content in such a way that it does not infringe on anyone else’s copyrights. Note that this DMCA process does not apply to trademark infringement.
If you’d like to learn more about copyright and trademarks, below are a few resources that might be helpful. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided on these websites, and we encourage you to conduct your own independent research on these topics.
- Copyright: https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html
- Copyright fair use: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html
- Trademark: https://www.uspto.gov/page/about-trademark-infringement