Adobe Education
Educators and Professional Development Specialists

Copyright and fair use

Lesson Plan Published 11/11/13 Last updated on 3/2/20

Understanding how to legally use resources and content, as well as, how to protect one’s work is very important. In this activity students will learn about copyright rules, fair use guidelines, and intellectual property so they know when permission must be obtained and the methods used to indicate content is copyrighted.

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  • Files updated on September 23, 2018.
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Age Levels
1-2 Hours
Custom Standards
ACA Dreamweaver 1.3; ACA Photoshop 1.2; ACA Premiere Pro 1.3; ACA Flash Professional 1.4; ACA Illustrator 1.2; ACA InDesign 1.2
ISTE Standards
Students: Digital Citizen
CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
5 / 5 • 35 Ratings

Resources (3)

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Comments (58)

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Dilki Nimasha

Posted on 5/17/20 5:04:27 AM Permalink

Nice work!​

Sarah Anzellotti

Posted on 3/28/20 11:55:32 AM Permalink

​Thanks so much for the resource. I was trying to work out how to do a lesson on copyright remotely and this helped a lot.

Michelle Roberts

Posted on 2/25/20 10:23:07 PM Permalink

​Thanks for the resource.


Posted on 2/25/20 1:23:24 PM Permalink

​very nice


Posted on 2/19/20 12:54:30 PM Permalink

​Thanks for Great Resource.

Joost Van der Hoeven

Posted on 1/24/20 11:07:23 PM Permalink

Mandy Evans

Posted on 1/10/20 3:30:05 PM Permalink

​So great! This is such an important topic that so many of my high school students don't even realize can be an issue.

Mick Perkins

Posted on 11/21/19 10:27:00 AM Permalink

​thanks for this!

jeffrey plummer

Posted on 11/13/19 12:23:37 PM Permalink

​Thanks for sharing.

Denby Weller

Posted on 10/25/19 12:06:35 AM Permalink

​This is a nice intro, thank you.

Hulda Black

Posted on 10/23/19 6:57:27 PM Permalink

This is such a hot topic in classrooms, what can be used / not used. Thanks for sharing.​

Mark Woszczalski

Posted on 9/30/19 2:13:42 PM Permalink

Thank you for this, very helpful at this stage ​as I am developing a resource for SkillsPoint.

Wilder Ones

Posted on 9/28/19 2:42:45 AM Permalink

nice,,,, i like it,,,,

Fonacier Balatero , Jr.

Posted on 9/18/19 7:25:09 AM Permalink

​This is great resources. I will add this to my Copyright 101 topic which is one of the lessons I have in Visual Graphic Design course. Thank you very much.

Shafiq Rehman

Posted on 8/31/19 8:06:25 PM Permalink

​Its is very helpful and add a value as an educator to tell students Copyright and fair use

22 smith

Posted on 8/17/19 8:03:15 PM Permalink

Great work...using this during my next social entrepreneurship course.​

Adobe Education

Posted on 8/19/19 8:21:09 PM Permalink

That's great to hear! Please let us know if you upload and share the unit you create on this topic - would be interested in how you've brought it in the classroom.

Alper Ciftci

Posted on 7/10/19 7:12:17 AM Permalink


Abby Guido

Posted on 7/8/19 6:52:46 PM Permalink

​Thanks for this resource!

Russell Pritchard

Posted on 7/5/19 2:43:42 AM Permalink

This is a great resource for you to share.

Thanks so much.


Victor Gonzalez

Posted on 7/1/19 6:58:15 PM Permalink

​Great piece of information, thanks.


Posted on 6/3/19 5:40:45 PM Permalink

This information is essential, many people neglect this legal aspect concerning copyrights, thank you for this work.

Craig Daalmeijer-Power

Posted on 5/30/19 11:53:35 AM Permalink

Thanks for sharing this valuable resource. would be great to add different country perspective as well.

Anne C Smith

Posted on 5/21/19 4:20:20 PM Permalink

​Thank you.

Cortez William

Posted on 5/19/19 5:27:58 AM Permalink

​It is essential to know about copyright and fair use. Thanks for sharing this valuable resource.

Michael Timpano

Posted on 5/9/19 1:49:47 AM Permalink

​Great resource. Thanks for sharing.

James Rafferty

Posted on 5/8/19 4:46:12 AM Permalink

Information everyone should know

Ray Cooper

Posted on 5/7/19 9:09:52 PM Permalink

​A great resource!

Jason Reagin

Posted on 4/14/19 9:20:15 AM Permalink

Can't wait to use this with my students!​

Lauren Petiti

Posted on 4/12/19 6:35:13 PM Permalink

​For a few years now I've been thinking about taking time at the beginning of the year to talk about copyright. This would be great to use!

Stoyanka Veselinova

Posted on 4/3/19 2:12:06 PM Permalink

As a lawyer, this resource is really useful to me. Thank you !

Kim Cardona

Posted on 3/31/19 9:50:41 PM Permalink

Thank you!​

said smahri

Posted on 3/29/19 11:30:43 PM Permalink

thank you.​

Susan Mango Curtis

Posted on 3/21/19 6:20:18 PM Permalink

I will use this copyright and fair use as a workshop​

Aaron Kapala

Posted on 3/20/19 9:44:14 PM Permalink

This is great thanks

joanne boyle

Posted on 3/3/19 8:54:41 AM Permalink

I have just joined this community​ I have quickly noticed that the references and links are to America. Is there an Australian community?

Satyendra Arora

Posted on 2/14/19 12:30:15 AM Permalink

Great resource.

Susan Szep

Posted on 2/1/19 4:54:46 PM Permalink

This is less dry.​

Stephen Brown

Posted on 2/21/19 2:30:50 PM Permalink

Just finished it! Great resource! Thanks!

I will use this in my classes with guided notes.

Silvia DAgruma

Posted on 1/23/19 3:01:46 PM Permalink

​Thank you!

John Martin

Posted on 1/9/19 1:02:40 PM Permalink

​These resources follow a logical sequence in detail and allow my Multimedia and Video Production students to be aware of the value of Copyright laws.

Ayman Raafat

Posted on 1/8/19 7:14:42 AM Permalink

​thank you for the great resource

Courtney Crabtree

Posted on 11/27/18 11:47:33 PM Permalink

​Thanks for this great resource. I do a similar thing with student but this will come in handy. I think it is defiantly important to be teaching students about this.

Adobe Education

Posted on 9/23/18 2:21:29 PM Permalink

​We recently updated the files for this lesson on September 23, 2018.

Yasar Butt

Posted on 8/23/18 9:21:14 PM Permalink

​always thankful to edex adobe

Judy Durkin

Posted on 8/22/18 4:20:13 PM Permalink

​This ACA curriculum is a life saver

Armando Viera

Posted on 8/17/18 6:49:38 AM Permalink

​Fine..., nice.

Sylvan Adams

Posted on 8/5/16 6:23:21 PM Permalink

thanks so much

Salheddine Boumaraf

Posted on 10/17/15 9:19:26 AM Permalink

Great lesson, thanks.

Bunnie Craddock

Posted on 8/7/15 4:19:04 PM Permalink

Donna Enard

Posted on 2/22/15 10:08:01 PM Permalink

Any lesson that help students understand the rules and laws of copyright is ok with me. Thanks for sharing;

D. Enard

Denise Dejonghe

Posted on 4/27/14 4:03:12 PM Permalink

Adobe Education

Posted on 4/30/14 6:30:16 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing the video Denise!

From time to time, there is content that doesn't have a product directly associated with it and the best thing to do is to select the product that makes the most sense. For something like this video, you might select products that can be used to alter copyrighted materials and provide some information about how the copyright information in the video pertains to using those products. Hope that makes sense.

Georgia Hardee

Posted on 9/29/15 11:14:53 AM Permalink

Thanks for sharing! I'll use it today!

Abigail Smith

Posted on 12/31/13 4:47:24 PM Permalink

Objectives are not specific and measurable (one should never use the word "understand" in a learning objective, since understanding is not measurable. Check Blooms Taxonomy with corresponding action verbs for help with writing objectives!) Rubric is vague and unhelpful. The activity is not even clear--are students supposed to write a paper? Participate in a discussion board? Create a presentation? Clear, specific directions are totally absent in the lesson plan. As far as the guide to copyright, some helpful information is presented, but it is presented in a dry, boring way. Additionally, the guide sort of takes a cop-out approach by saying at the end that students should go to the US copyright website for more information, without even highlighting which part of the site they should visit, or what the most important information there should be. So students are left feeling unsure if they have gained the necessary information that they will need from this guide, or if there are more things they are supposed to learn from the other sources.

Adobe Education

Posted on 1/6/14 5:37:47 PM Permalink

Thanks for the feedback Abigail. Because this lesson plan it meant to work with multiple different types of digital media projects within Adobe's Digital Careers curriculum, it is intentionally written to be flexible so it can be easily adapted to different use cases. In some cases, the copyright citation might be a paper, in others it might be on a webpage or as part of the credits in a video. The projects that utilize this lesson plan have more detailed instructions on how to use this activity within the project. So, that's the rationale for the generalized instructions and rubric.

Regarding the guide to copyright, what ideas do you have about presenting that information in a less boring way? Copyright and fair use is by nature not the most riveting topic, and it would be awesome if passionate educators like you take a stab at creating more interested and engaging ways to teach about this important topic. Or are there any existing resources on this topic that you use that you could share?

Todd Blankenbeckler

Posted on 2/4/14 2:00:40 AM Permalink

If teaching K-8 you could include the resources from The Copyright Society of the U.S.A for Copyright Kids. There are also some resource videos at CSUSA Videos. Unfortunately they decommissioned the Friends of Active Copyright Education (FACE) site that did a wonderful job of explaining the topic in plain English. You can get a fairly good snapshot by going to the" target="_blank">WayBack Machine

Adobe Education

Posted on 2/4/14 7:26:33 AM Permalink

These are great resources - thanks so much for sharing Todd! We will certainly consider these when we update next time.


~Adobe Education