How do I know is something is copyrighted????

Great rule of thumb is to first assume that any image, etc that you want to include in your resource is copyrighted...Then you can go from there. 

It’s important to remember that the resources you create for use in your own classroom may not be okay for distributing on the internet. Therefore, you should be sure that you have the right to use anything you post on Amped Up Learning.

Using imagery, names, titles, and key phrases from well-known works or famous brands can be problematic, even if you’ve adapted your own version. (Yes, I know that we have all seen those products with famous characters, names, etc, some of them can be used (b/c their copyright expired and it is now in the public domain.), but many cannot). 

The safest approach to creating resources is to use only work (titles, text, images, photographs, graphics, and so on) that you’ve created yourself. If you’re using anything that you didn’t create completely yourself, you need to determine whether there’s a fair use exception, or get permission from the creator to use it in on Amped Up Learning.

I've heard about Fair Use...doesn't it have the exception for teaching? 

Fair use is an exception built into copyright law which allows creators to use the copyrighted work of another without their permission. It is Tricky, Tricky, Tricky because what you consider fair use may not be what the original copyright owner considers to be fair.

The ultimate judge of what is fair use is the one you will see in a courtroom making that decision. Decisions tend to depend on the facts of each case, and each case has their own unique circumstances and because of this we highly recommend using only your own original work in your resources or getting the written permission of another creator before using their work in your own. 

Teachers do get special exceptions under the fair use policy, BUT

The teaching exception is the rule that allows teachers to make multiple copies of someone else’s content or incorporate another’s images or book passages into a lesson. 

But when you put it in a resource that you list for sale that exception isn't covered. Using another’s work commercially is not given special consideration under the law. As an Amped Up Learning Teacher-Contributor, you should be aware of this important distinction as you decide whether or not to use another’s content as part of your own.

Here are some links to information about fair use: 

The major exception to this principle is work that has aged out of copyright protection and is in the “public domain.” It can be difficult to know whether a work has passed into the public domain, but there are some helpful resources out there. Check out this chart from Cornell.