Intellectual Property Rights:

A Resource Guide for Educators


State of Hawaii - Department of Education Copyright Policy & Regulations


Guidelines For Use


Lesson Resources

Links and References

PDF Booklet


Have you ever ...

  • been short a workbook or two and decided to make a couple of copies of one to add to your inventory?
  • found an excellent video to go with your history lesson, so you made a copy to use and keep for yourself?
  • borrowed a video from Blockbuster to show your classes to reward them for a job well done?
  • had your students perform a May Day dance routine to a song by your favorite local artist?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a terrific teacher, but you could be violating the Federal Copyright Law.

Many associate copyright with protection for printed materials such as books, encyclopedias, and magazines. Laws which govern copyright of printed sources also protect audio, motion media, images, and text on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Even though a document does not explicitly state that it is copyrighted, it is always a good idea to assume that it is.

The purpose of this site is to provide information to librarians, teachers, and staff to make informed decisions before using materials in the classroom or on the World Wide Web and to comply with fair use guidelines when using images, computer programs, or other materials obtained via the Internet. Formats are also provided to cite sources used in lessons and projects, and a sample letter to request permission to use copyrighted work is available.

Those interested in teaching students about intellectual property rights may use the lesson resources provided for various grade levels.

A link to a modified pdf (print downloadable format) version of this site is also available to provide a printed resource.

DISCLAIMER: This site was created by a team of school library media specialists and a technology coordinator. The information contained in this site is, to the best of our knowledge, correct and up-to-date. Copyright laws and the circumstances surrounding the use of copyrighted materials can be difficult to interpret, however, and information in this site should not be construed as legal advice. The information provided is not intended to be a complete coverage of the laws governing intellectual property rights, but is meant to be a guide for educators and students to make informed decisions. Any errors or omissions were solely created by our team members. This site has not been reviewed for accuracy by any party that may have provided information or advice. The team will willingly remove any portion of the website if requested. All links are provided with permission and that permission is not transferable.

Created By:
Debbie Lum, School Library Media Specialist,
Waikele Elementary School
Debra Miura, School Library Media Specialist,
Waipahu Intermediate School
Kerri-lynn Slavens, School Technology Library Media Specialist,
Waipahu Intermediate School
Lori-Ann Tsang, Technology Coordinator,
Waipahu Intermediate School

©2002 by HI DOE, Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Student Support
Advanced Technology Research Branch

Permission to use this information is granted freely as long as this notice is kept with it.

For questions or comments contact,
Donna Shiroma
Advanced Technology Research Branch.