Licensing Texts for Use in the Classroom
September 23, 2014 12:22 PM   Subscribe

I am considering ditching the textbook I currently use for my high school English class. I would like to create a digital anthology of poetry and short stories. Many of the texts I plan on using would be public domain, but what about those that aren't? Is there a cost-effective/user-friendly way to do small-scale licensing of short stories and poetry for use in the classroom?
posted by hadlexishere to Education (8 answers total)
I think you need to say a little more about the "digital anthology" and how you plan to go about doing that. If you're not putting it on the open web and are only making it available to your students, your use may fall under fair use which makes an allowance for multiple copies for classroom use. Can you just make [print] copies to distribute to your students?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:30 PM on September 23, 2014

Response by poster: I was thinking of just creating an iBook they could all download. It wouldn't be available on the open web. I was just concerned about the legality of using copyrighted material for that.
posted by hadlexishere at 12:35 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Creating an iBook would most likely be seen as "republishing" which is unlikely to be allowed. But you might be able to share stories via electronic course materials or by photocopying. The "right" way to do this is to pay the rights holders for the copies you make - the copyright Clearance Center tries to be a clearinghouse for doing this. If you can buy permission through the CCC, it's usually something like $0.10/per page/per student - so, say, $10 to distribute a 10-page story to ten students (it varies though).
posted by mskyle at 12:59 PM on September 23, 2014

I think it depends on where you are. Here in Germany this would probably not be seen as publishing, as the finished work is only available to a certain group of people, i. e. your students, and not publicly available. Germany also has special rules which allow the use of copyrighted material for educational purposes under certain circumstances. I'd recommend inquiring about those rules in your country/state/school jurisdiction.
posted by amf at 2:01 PM on September 23, 2014

Best answer: I've sent you a MeMail about something I'm involved in that does just what you're suggesting.
posted by marylynn at 4:14 PM on September 23, 2014

If your school library is going digital, they can subscribe to services that allow students to "check out" ebooks. If multiple copies of the same book are needed, they can sometimes find specials for you.
posted by tamitang at 6:11 PM on September 23, 2014

Hard to answer without knowing where you are, but in Ontario you can make a course pack and the school board handles the copyright issues and payments. You might want to ask your administrator or school librarian about this.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 7:27 PM on September 23, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the help guys! I think I have a direction to go in, now.
posted by hadlexishere at 8:45 AM on September 25, 2014

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