Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

In order to appropriately use internet resources in accordance with the NETS standards, students and educators must have a good understanding of copyright law and “fair use”. I will summarize my understanding of these topics here for future reference.

Hall Davidson explains that fair use is using a resource for the greater good of society, superceding the ownership rights of the copyright holder. All of these scenarios constitute fair use: commenting, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. There are also guidelines in place for multimedia use, which in general ask that the public use 10% or less of the entirety of the work. It goes without saying that any and all materials must be legitimately acquired and the user must give proper citation.

Image source: Thomas Scovell, retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/

The new Creative Commons license allow people easier access to research, education, and culture. They are less restrictive (“all rights reserved” vs “some rights reserved”), and eliminate the need to ask the creator permission to use their work. Creative Commons explicitly give people the right to share, use and build upon a work, on the conditions of the creator. As an artist, I use Creative Commons when I upload my art to the internet.

Image source: Screenshot from http://www.deviantart.com/submit/deviation

I agree with Larry Lessig’s stance. Nowadays, as he says, ordinary people break the law as a result of actions as simple as sharing a picture on their facebook page. We need to switch to a different, more open model that allows us to share freely.

I personally wouldn’t show the “YouTube Copyright School” video in a classroom; it’s a little too cutesy, and focuses mostly on Youtube’s policy rather than the big picture. I’d prefer to show Hall Davidson’s videos on copyright. Here is a video on Creative Commons that I found enjoyable and relevant enough to use in a classroom:

Reference:

Creative Commons – About. Retrieved from http://creativecommons.org/about

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About Lily F.M.

Graduate student trying to learn as much as I can!

One response to “Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

  1. Our use of so many sources, requires our knowledge of copyrighted material to be much more than what it is. This bit of information was incredibly useful for me and it really says that we need to inform our students of copyright and copyright infringement.

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