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Considerations When Linking to External Web Sites

In the digital age, many issues related to potential copyright infringement can be avoided by providing a link to the site of origin of the content rather than building the content into an online class. Particularly if the link is programmed to open in a separate window, the teacher is clearly making no claim of ownership and generally creates a desirable increase in traffic to the producer’s site.

When utilizing this strategy it is important to keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, you want to make sure you select a stable web site in order to decrease the likelihood of the link becoming out-of-date. Also, you want to consider the nature of the site you have selected. Will the linked site contain content such as advertisements you might not find acceptable?

If this strategy is not practical, seeking permission from the web site owner or obtaining a license to use the copyrighted material may be the best option. Policies can describe when different options should be used, and who in the school is responsible for answering teacher questions and monitoring these issues.