Copyright Timeline

I created this timeline using It was pretty easy to add events and images to the timeline and embed it here. I created this timeline for an audience of people like myself (in other words, I wanted this timeline to fill in my own gaps of knowledge). Particularly, I was considering teachers who teach online, or want to integrate possibly copyrighted material into their classrooms.

Consequently, I included two primary types of events: (1) major laws/revisions to the U.S. Copyright Act, to build a basic knowledge of copyright law, and (2) the types of materials covered under copyright (and when they were added). Each event has an image and a link to more information. Also, considering my audience, I included three videos (under “Copyright Act of 1790,” “Fair Use and First Sale,” and “TEACH Act of 2002”), because each of these three events are particularly important for me (and other teachers) to know about.



2 thoughts on “Copyright Timeline

  1. Chris Lott says:

    I’ve never seen this timeline tool before. Interesting. I do wish it had some kind of indicator to show what kind of content is used in a particular event…I don’t see thatg even clicking through to the expanded view. And, weirdly, I don’t see the TEACH Act of 2002 on the version here but I do see it when I click through. Does that happen for you?

    But those are technical Qs less relevant than noting your job well done here. Your selection is relatively concise and definitely hits the highlights. I’m sure you would be providing a lot of context when you used this with a particular audience. That comes to mind particularly because along with regular misunderstandings of Fair Use, the TEACH Act is routinely misinterpreted … in both directions of conservatism and liberalism in use!

  2. admin says:

    It was an interesting tool but definitely not perfect- there’s a couple other similar ones ( or that I considered using, so I’d be curious to see if those are any better on the technical end. I would’ve liked to have more customization options, too, and it only offered a couple templates. I think it drops off the TEACH Act because I have too many events in one time period (? maybe?) There should be a little “+” button at the bottom of the timeline, and if you click on that, any of the events that are “hidden” due to lack of space seem to pop up. Also I probably should’ve mentioned in my post that if you click on the event, it takes you to the source, even though it doesn’t have an indicator showing what kind of content it is.

    It was definitely challenging to pick the “most” important issues– I think my timeline started off with twice as many events, so narrowing it down was tricky! But I agree that even with these dozen or so events, many of them would require a lot of context and explanation (and probably even better, participatory discussion).

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