The Internet was founded on the principle of linked content: It was always the intent that one piece of content would link to another, but without curators the sheer breadth of content available would become unmanageable.
The one Golden Rule to abide by is: *Never copy content: link to it*
Most of us understand the concept of copyright; that an author retains the right to sell and distribute their original work until they elect to give it up (or the statute of limitations kicks in), but copyright is also governed by the principles of Fair Use.
Fair Use’ is a limitation on copyright which is recognized in most countries (although varies from place to place).
There are three basic considerations as to whether or not something is considered fair use:
- Is it factual or creative?
- Is it a significant portion of the whole?
- Does it damage the market for the original?
Presuming you are not explicitly violating a copyright agreement and that you are adhering to the principles of fair use, you should be legally in a good position to curate material into a learning experience.
However, you do also carry a moral obligation, especially if you are going to make money from your curated experience. This is a bit stickier…
Check out this blog post for further details on fair usage policies and our top 4 tips for keeping the moral high-ground when curating content for online learning.