Looking for copyright-free material sources for new English courses

Hello all,

I’ve been asked by a school of English based in Russia to create courses for high intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced students of English. These courses should include authentic sound, video and texts, along with student exercises.

Given that they want the first few lessons yesterday I want to start with sources where I don’t need to ask for permission to use their material. Sources who usually grant permission to people who ask for it I can think about in a few weeks, when I’ve already got some lessons prepared.

Obviously it would be OK to provide a link to, say, the BBC’s website and tell a student to go and read an article on it. The trouble is the BBC will change their content fairly soon, which gives my lesson plans a very short shelf life. I really want sources I can copy and paste chunks from, adding my own notes, highlighting etc.

Assuming that my boss gives permission, I can add the finished courses to the LingQ English library.
What can you suggest? I have already thought of:

Wikipedia - English and simple English

YouTube: presumably there would be no problems providing the link and telling students to go and watch a video clip from there

Pictures royalty free:

Must add a credit to the artist and to the site.

I got stuck there }:-0

Help please??


HAve just looked up the laws on “Fair use” and “fair Dealing” but am not confident they would provide sufficient cover.

Librivox of course would be OK - but hardly current.

Voice of America? Looks like I am OK to use their articles without permission.

Here in the States we have NPR (National Public Radio), which is somewhat analogous to the BBC and which allows individual use of its web materials and a limitied amount of class activities (see their permissions page http://www.npr.org/about/permissioninfo.html). NPR’s website home: http://www.npr.org/

So far as I know, NPR does not provide transcripts of their programming.

Of course, if you are not familiar with NPR programming, you won’t know what to choose. If this avenue seems appropriate to you, say so and I’ll give you a synopsis of the interesting programs.

We also have C-Span2, which provides a series called Book TV, interviews with authors. Sometimes fascinating, sometimes not. The site is here: http://www.booktv.org/Series/PL/Biographies.aspx
Its copyright policy here: Contact | C-SPAN.org
Again, apparently individual use is allowed, as is noncommercial use. Commercial use requires a license.

Needless to say, I am NOT an expert on copyright, but surely you can point individual students to material on both these sites. Beyong that, it bewilders me.

Helen, anything that is in our library, like Wikipedia, VOA, TED, stuff you and other members created, or anything else for that matter , is clear of copyright. Just use the library material. There is enough there for several lifetimes.

donhamilton, thanks, from an L1 English speaker. Some of these look good.

So far as I know, NPR does not provide transcripts of their programming.

Sometimes they do (it does?). For instance, Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning : Shots - Health News : NPR . Although there is no transcript linked to (i.e., “Transcript” at the right of “Listen to the Story” is grayed out), the article itself is presented in full in text on the page. The little introduction to the article (25 seconds) at the beginning of the recording is not transcribed, nor is the little “non-commercial” before it. Interesting article, BTW.

As is this: In '1493,' Uncovering The World Columbus Discovered : NPR . The transcript for this is linked to at the right of “Listen to the Story.” This transcript starts immediately at the beginning of the clip. These “Fresh Air” interviews are generally longer interviews: 20 minutes to 50 minutes. (This transcript info is more for L2 English listeners, rather than you, donhamilton, of course.)

Glad to be of help.