Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

What is copyright?
Copyright gives an artist, author or other creator the right to record or perform that work. It protects that individual’s work and allows him or her to receive fair compensation for his or her creation.

What kinds of media are copyrighted?
At NNPS-TV, we are mostly concerned with the appropriate educational use of video media, including music and other elements used to create a finished video production. Copyright law also extends to the proper use of off-air taping and use of cable or broadcast TV programs for educational use. Examples of copyrighted elements are: movies (VHS or DVD) or excerpts of movies you rent from a local video rental store, TV shows or portions of TV shows you record at home, published music (i.e. purchased CDs or mp3 files legally downloaded from the Internet). Examples of media that may be used without restrictions include royalty-free music that you purchase or borrow and unpublished music that either you or someone you know has created. (Even if it is a friend’s music, always ask permission before using).

Can NNPS teachers legally record programs from NNPS-TV Channel 47?

Yes! Unless stated otherwise, all original NNPS-TV productions may be recorded with no restrictions on educational use. Programs aired from other stations (Discovery Channel, A&E, TLC, etc.) are copyrighted, but may be recorded as long as they are intended for classroom use, with the following restrictions: Recorded programs may be retained for use for no longer than 45 days from the date of recording; videos may not be copied for students to take home and programs may not be aired in settings outside the classroom. If in doubt, contact NNPS-TV at 591-4687 for more details.

Can students incorporate their favorite CD or mp3 tracks in their school’s TV news or other student-produced videos?

There are limitations for using these recordings in the classroom. Under the “Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Media,” students may use small portions of a song as part of a class project. Use outside of the classroom is not permitted. Illegal use of music in a video includes: Broadcasting on NNPS-TV Channel 47 or any other local cable station, viewing during an assembly or other gathering outside of the classroom, and public screenings in the community. Keep in mind that there are many choices for using non-copyrighted music including using your own or a friend’s unpublished music and use of royalty-free music available from the NNPS Telecommunications Center. Again, if in doubt, call us at 591-4687.

Can students or teachers use clips of purchased or rented videos?

Generally speaking, use of copyrighted video material in an individual’s video production can be used for in-classroom use, as long as the edited material is less than 10% or 3 minutes of the finished work (whichever is less). As with copyrighted music, you cannot show or broadcast these video productions outside the classroom.

Can students or teachers download still or moving images from the Internet for a multimedia presentation?

Copyrighted works may be incorporated under the video guidelines outlined above for use only in an instructional, classroom setting. Generally speaking, you don’t know if the digital images are copyright protected. Access to files on the Internet does not imply that they may be reproduced or reused without permission or payment. When in doubt, obtain permission directly from the person or organization that produced the image(s).

Additional Resources
U.S. Copyright Office
American Library Association
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
Music Library Association
Fair Use in Education