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Copyright Awareness for Students

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This is soundzabound music library in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a student have you ever questioned or wondered why your teacher or library media specialist told you that you couldn't use a particular song, photo, or image in a project or video that you are creating? There's a reason, and that reason is to protect you, your family, and your school from being sued for copyright infringement.

As we travel around the country we hear many students say I won't get caught or they won't find out about me. However the songs, photos, and videos you use are traceable or trackable with a digital footprint resulting in many students, parents, and schools being found guilty in court. This happens more than we are aware of due to non-disclosure statements. 

In fact, a school district in North Carolina was sued for thirty million dollars for using popular music in their morning news broadcast and various school-related videos. During the investigation the authorities found one student who also illegally used to many of those songs and sued her and her parents for a little over three million dollars.

Another student in Boston used 30 copyrighted songs illegally and was sued $675,000. That's over $22,000 per song.

We all need to understand there when we purchase songs from iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, or any other music retailer, those songs do not come with a license or the ability to use them in videos, broadcast, or performances without specific written permission from the copyright holder. More importantly you do not have permission to upload videos containing these songs to YouTube, SchoolTube, TeacherTube, or any of the social networks. These songs are strictly for home and personal use which is stated on the retailer's terms of use.

Knowing that these lawsuits are happening and that they will continue to take place, we ask that you do one of two things:

First, practice getting permission from the copyright holder for the piece of digital media you want to use. This process has become easier thanks to the internet.

Secondly, use the copyright compliant resources that your school, district, region, or state provides. Using one of these processes will protect you and your school, prepare you for your continued education, and ultimately your career choice.

If you have any questions about copyright or copyright law, please check out or contact us at info at and we'll point you in the right direction. 

We wish you all the best in being ethical and honest in your copyright initiatives.

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