Copyright, copyleft & plagiarism

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Students develop and demonstrate honesty and integrity and ethical behaviour in their use of ICTs.
  • Students understand what copyright is and know ways to find content that can be remixed.
  • Students use creative commons licences for their own work.
  • Students understand what plagiarism is and use note taking tools to develop their own understanding of a topic.
  • Students know how to reference and cite the content and information they reuse.

NetSafe Digital Citizenship Definition: uses and develops critical thinking skills in cyberspace


  • Discuss with students that copying someone else’s text is just the same, and it’s called plagiarism.
    It is ok, however, to reuse and build on their ideas when we credit where they came from. Using
    techniques such as note taking, summarising and referencing makes this easier.
  • For ideas and templates for notetaking
  • Here’s a poster about avoiding plagiarism that might be useful to display for your students.
  • You should always credit the original creator when you reuse their work. This guide from Creative
    Commons Australia clearly outlines how to do that.
  • Here's some help to apply Creative Commons licences to your own work.


Show some examples of digital content with their credit bars and licences and ask the students to say what they can do with it.


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  • What is the purpose of copyright?
  • If we didn’t have copyright, would we still have creative work? Why or why not?
  • What’s the difference between owning a song and owning a car?
  • Give your own definition of plagiarism.


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Choose one or more of the following:
  • Display these posters in your school, for the classroom and for the staffroom
  • Create a digital story from reusable content that the students have identified.  Show them some great places to look for content such as Google Advanced Search, DigitalNZ filters and any specific tool that they would be interested in. (for example: Jamendo and CCMixter for music, Vimeo for video, Flickr for images) You could also show them Creative Commons search engines such as Let'sCC  or Creative Commons Search. Helen Baxter has created a series of columns to help students remix content.