What is Copyright?

What is Copyright?

It enables creators to earn money from their work, as well as protecting it and allowing them to control who uses it and how.

Copyright law aims to balance the interests of the creators with everyone else who wants to use and enjoy it.

Some good links to exemplify copyright to the children include:

BBC Bitesize
Music and Young People (Childnet)
Library of Congress (USA)
Creative Commons

The copyright law can cover books, music, photographs, videos and software and even if someone’s work hasn’t been copyrighted, it is still important to ask for permission if you want to use their work, and credit them.

Images and Video

It’s so easy nowadays to find any image you want. All you do is simply go to a search engine and type in a word e.g. ‘flowers’ and thousands of images will appear within seconds. It’s the same for videos.

These images and videos your pupils are saving are not theirs to use, as they will usually belong to someone else.

A quick way to tell, is to check whether there is a copyright watermark on the photo or video. However, this may not always be the case, so always remember to find out where your pupils have saved their image from.

Rather than searching and finding someone else’s image, we suggest they either create their own or download an image from a royalty free website.


Unless you have permission or have found royalty free music, nowadays most music will be protected by the copyright law.

Some wesbites such as Makewaves will have licences with MCPS/PRS which allow you to use commercial music on their site, under certain restrictions.

As for other sites, it is also best to find music which is royalty free or even better, get your pupils to create their own.


It is important for your pupils to understand that they cannot simply copy and paste text from another site. It is now very easy to check whether your pupils have copied and pasted writing by simply checking on a search engine. (Paste a small paragraph of text into the search engine.)

If your pupils have been given permission to use someone else’s work, then it is very important that they remember to always give credit to the creator.

Copyright media sites
Please note: These links were added and checked September 2012. Please contact with any issues

Royality free music and sound effects:

Copyright free images:
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