Copyrights and Plagiarism
Learner Description: This page is for parents and students who want to find out more about copyrights and plagiarism.


Copyright laws are a necessary and important part of our society. These laws protect those who create new original works from having that work copied and used without permission.  The purpose of copyright is to help encourage the creation of original work. Without copyright laws artists and other creators of original work would be unable to make the money necessary to continue to create.

Copyrights do not restrict any and all use.  Fair use is a doctrine that provides for exceptions to the rights granted by copyright laws. It allows for the use of copyrighted material under certain circumstances.

The scavenger hunt activity on this page will teach you more about copyrights and fair use.  I have also posted this video from Common Sense Media that gives you some great tips on how to avoid copyright infringement.

Use this link to find the answers to the following questions related to copyrights. Download the worksheet to fill in your answers for this and the plagiarism hunt. [Worksheet]

Copyright Hunt Questions:
  1. What are 3 types of works protected by copyright?
  2. Can you copyright an idea?
  3. What are the 4 factors of fair use?
  4. What is an example of licensing?
  5. Do you have to register with the U.S. Copyright office to get copyright status?


When writing a paper students will almost always consult several different sources for information. When students use this information they are expected to give credit to the original author to avoid plagiarism. The video and scavenger hunt on this page will help students and parents better understand why plagiarism occurs and how to avoid it.    

Use this link to find the answers to the following questions related to plagiarism.

Plagiarism Hunt Questions:

  1. Do you have to cite a source for all facts?
  2. Do you have to cite a source if you change some of the words?
  3. What is an academic or legal punishment someone can face for plagiarism?
  4. If I only copy a little is it plagiarism?
  5. What should you do if you are not sure if something is common knowledge?
Once you have completed the scavenger hunt check your answers using the answer key. [Answer Key]