Can you reuse learning materials that you find in a book, a CD or DVD, on a website or elsewhere? Yes, but not without taking into account the copyright laws.
In layman’s terms, you could say that you basically can not reuse any work that was created by someone else without having that person’s (or their bereaved’s) authorization; possibly you will need to pay for it.
There are exceptions, amongst others in the context of ‘education and research’, but on the other hand, again, not every teacher is automatically covered by this framework. Some important guidelines are:
– Digitally, you are allowed to do more than on paper: within the framework of ‘education and research’, you can reuse digital learning materials as long as you offer them within a closed digital learning environment (where students of the educational institution must login) and provided that you mention the source properly.
– Even if you are teaching within the framework of ‘education and research’, you or the organization for which you teach, can not have commercial interest in the supply of this material. From the moment the material couldbe consulted by non-students, you are outside the scope of ‘education and research’.
– Creative Commons is a set of six different copyright licenses that make it clear to the public in a simple, standardized way (using icons) in what way the author gives permission to use his work and to possibly further disseminate it (eg. The author gives his permission to use his material, provided his name is mentioned, and it is only for non-commercial purposes).
Through ‘CC Search’ you get access to 13 different search engines (eg. YouTube and Google) cataloging creative commons material separately, which makes the search quest to “free” material (under the conditions) easier.
In the learn more section, you can find Web pages which can help you find good and reliable information about copyrights.