This is a course for educators who want to learn about US copyright law in the education context. P2PU also offers a similar courses for Australia, if that content is more appropriate. Educators who are not in the US are welcome to sign up, too, if they want to learn about copyright law in the US.

The course is taught around practical case studies faced by teachers when using copyright material in their day-to-day teaching. By answering the case scenarios and drafting and discussing the answers in groups, you and other participants will learn:

  • What is the public domain?
  • What does copyright law protect?
  • What is fair use?
  • What other exceptions are there in copyright law?
  • What are open access educational resources?


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of copyright law;
  • Identify copyright issues in education;
  • Understand when fair use or other copyright exceptions apply to teacher, librarian, or student use of copyrighted content; and
  • Strategize and talk with your students, peers, and administrators about how to use copyright exceptions in education.

Who should take this course?

  • Teachers, librarians, and administrators in K-12 schools or higher education in the US
  • Anyone interested in education who would like to learn about US law as it pertains to educators

What won't I learn?

This course will not cover law outside of the US, and although it will give an introduction to open access educational resources in the final session, another course will cover that in depth.


Familiarity with the the basic structure of educational systems and law in the US are presumed, but not critical to understanding the core concepts here.

About the Instructor

Laura Quilter is a librarian and lawyer. She has worked with educators, scientists, and scholars for twenty years on technology and policy. In 2012, Laura joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst as their first "Copyright and Information Policy Librarian". She is excited about teaching in an online environment, and looks forward to hearing from a variety of educators.

You can learn more information about Laura at her website, http://lquilter.net/, or by googling her. She is also findable with the username lquilter at some websites. For this class, you can contact her at p2pu at lquilter.net .

Photo credit: "Catherine M. Rooney, 6th grade teacher..." by The U.S. National Archives has no known copyright restrictions