Copyright – what can we do?

In cooperation with the Munich English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) this event took place both live in Munich and online via IATEFL’s web-conferencing platform on 22 September 2012.

In September 2011, MELTA held a workshop on “Copyright Law for Teachers”, in which a copyright law expert was invited to advise its members on the legal issues involved in using various teaching materials in the classroom. The feedback from this workshop was: “Okay, now we know what we CAN’T do, please can we have a workshop to let us know what we CAN do!” This workshop was organised in response to that feedback.

The workshop addressed some of the issues that English teachers face when using published materials (e.g. coursebooks, audio CDs, text, videos and images from the internet, etc.). A panel of selected speakers, which included authors, publishers and materials developers, presented their perspectives (either in person in Munich or online) and answered questions about copyright fielded by the online and in-room audiences.

Recording of the event

The workshop took place in Munich and was simultaneously broadcast online via the IATEFL web conferencing platform. We recorded the event, but unfortunately we are unable to make the recording availble and apologise for any disappointment this may cause. We have, however, collated here as much of the materials and links shared during the sessions as is possible.

The speakers

Matt Firth (Legal English trainer and secretary of EULETA)

Jeremy Day (materials writer and coursebook editor)

Marjorie Rosenberg (CUP author)

Murdo MacPhail (Cornelsen publishers)

Maja Sirola (Managing Editor at Business Spotlight)

Cleve Miller (Founder and Managing Director of english360)

Input from teachers

The workshop was designed to help teachers deal with copyright issues with greater clarity and confidence. Prior to the event, teachers were asked for their input to help direct the workshop content more specifically towards their needs. So with this in mind teachers were aksed to contribute by completing an online questionnaire about typical copyright situations that they may encounter.

The answered we received can be viewed here: Responses

The original questionnaire questions can be viewed here: Questions

The workshop

The workshop was divided into three one-hour sessions as follows:

Part 1: Different perspectives

Mike Hogan introduced the six speakers who then briefly presented their perspective, as teachers, authors and publishers on the copyright issue. Here are the slides that were used for his section of the event.


Part 2: Typical copyright scenarios

Helen Strong took us through the scenarios and the panel responded to the issues they raise a.nd offered solutions where possible

Part 3: Guidelines and take-aways

The final session brought together what had been discussed and presented alternatives for teachers who are worried about breaking copyright law. The panel took questions from the floor and from the online audience with the aim of moving towards guidelines as to what teachers CAN legally do. To end on a high note, the panelists pointed out some of the many resources that teachers can use without fear of breaking the law.


Useful websites for copyright related issues

Some websites with materials for teachers to use

Special offers


Reviews of the event

The workshop moderators

We are grateful to MELTA, and in particular to Helen Strong who joined the IATEFL BESIG team of Bethany Cagnol, Mike Hogan and Carl Dowse in moderating this workshop online and in person in Munich.