I don't think there is a more misunderstood concept out there in classrooms across the country than the issue of copyright. It's almost as if nobody understands all of the rules.
As far as educators go, I think that the ideas surrounding "Fair Use" are of greatest import. Believe it or not, teachers and students may use copyrighted works in many different educational settings. In listening to a recent Conference Connections podcast about Copyright, I learned many specific things. In the podcast, Gary Becker discusses some of the latest changes in copyright law. His statements are interesting and very informative. As a result of some of his statements about Fair Use, I looked further into the Fair Use Guidelines for Multimedia. Here are a few of the highlights that I found particularly helpful to teachers that may have copyright concerns:
- Section 2.1 - Students may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia projects for a specific course.
- Section 2.2 - Educators may incorporate portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works when producing their own educational multimedia programs for their own teaching tools in support of curriculum-based instructional activities at educational institutions
- Section 3.1 - Students may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects created for educational uses in the course for which they were created and may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work for later personal uses such as job and graduate school interviews.
- Section 3.2 - Educators may perform and display their own educational multimedia projects for curriculum-based instruction to students, for face-to-face instruction, and assigned to students for directed self-study.
- Section 3.3 - Educators may perform or display their own multimedia projects in presentations to their peers (for example, at workshops and conferences).
- Section 4 - The preparation of educational multimedia projects incorporating copyrighted works under Section 2, and the use of such projects under Section 3, are subject to limitations of time, portion, and copying & distribution.
- Section 6.2 - Educators and students are reminded to credit the sources and display the copyright notice © and copyright ownership information if this is shown in the original source, for all works incorporated as part of the educational multimedia projects prepared by educators and students, including those prepared under fair use. Crediting the source must adequately identify the source of the work, giving a full bibliographic description where available (including author, title, publisher, and place and date of publication). The copyright ownership information includes the copyright notice (©, year of first publication and name of the copyright holder).
- For students to take pictures from Flickr and insert them into a PowerPoint presentation to be shown to a class? Yes - if the student cites the source.
- For a teacher to take a portion of copyrighted music and use it to teach a concept? Yes - if the teacher cites the source.
- For that same teacher to record the class session in which that copyrighted music was used and then publish the recording on the Internet? No - see section 3.2.
- For a teacher to use copyrighted photos in a PowerPoint presentation to be given at a conference? Yes - if the teacher cites the source.
- For that same presentation to be published on the Internet? No - Publishing on the Internet is viewed as a presentation to the world. The presentation can only be shown to a select group (see Section 3.3)
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