This time of year can feel like pure chaos. You’re in the thick of distributing yearbooks (and all the crazy that comes with that), wrapping up the year, starting to plan for next year, and looking forward to sweet, sweet summer that’s just around the corner.
As you and your students begin to brainstorm next year’s theme – be sure to steer them FAR away from anything that may be copy written material. Every year we see content in yearbooks (even whole themes) that violate copyright – and it can be a costly mistake.
Publishers do their best to catch potential copyright issues and deny production, but violations can slip through. Ultimately, as yearbooks and school newspapers/newsmags are student publications, the onus of responsibility is on the students (and you, their teacher) to avoid copyright violations.
Talk to your staff NOW about how to avoid copyright violations, so they don’t waste time dreaming up an awesome Disney theme, just to have their hearts broken in the fall once they realize it can’t happen.
Here are a few common yearbook themes that I personally would err on the side of caution and avoid due to potential copyright violations:
- Disney/Netflix or any streaming service
- Any tv show/movie
- Spotify/Apple Music
- Dr. Seuss/other children’s book author’s style
Download this quick checklist to help you determine if an idea would be considered “fair use” to publish in your school publication. 👇🏻