Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 1 Reading Copyright

Copyright is a difficult thing to wrap your head around and in the moment of creating it is difficult to think that you might be breaking the law. Using media as we do today to enhance our creative projects or personal videos, songs, or even photo albums we need to be conscious of where the work came from and in what manner are we using it.
I often struggle with even giving copyright a thought because it is usually such a hassle and after viewing the "Good copy, Bad copy" video I feel even more like the fight to stay free of infringement is not always worth it. I am not saying that I use illegally downloaded music to enhance my videos or that I am recreating to make money. I am just saying that great things can happen while using bits of others work while giving credit. 
I think that most teachers today would probably be breaking the law at least once a day in their class, but under Fair Use they could probably get away with it. Fair Use is a simple way to use others work to enhance your lessons, and I think that this should continue. Teachers need to rely on the work of others to help them teach and give students different perspectives of the content. They can use creative commons work and that usually will help in some instances, but usually is not the same content as work not labeled creative commons. Fair Use is a great thing and can only be abused when the work of someone else replaces the teacher instead of the teacher using it as supplemental to what they are doing.
I believe that copyright is a good thing and it protects the original creators from losing their work or from not benefiting from their work. With that I think that great things can be done with others work mixed with yours, we push collaboration so much and copyright laws could squash this. Cite the work of others and use away!


  1. One of my best college professors was also a great high school teacher. She said that the best teachers STEAL great ideas from other teachers. After all, it's in the interest of educating young people. I agree with Scot that teachers can and should claim fair use whenever necessary. Once my librarian video taped (yes, video taped) some Channel One shorts on the History of Photography. He told me I would have to quit using them in 6 months because the license would be expired. I still used them. I'm sure Channel One gets enough money from Pepsi, Oxy-Clean and the US Army. Now would I ever STEAL someone else's intellectual property to make real money? I'd have to think about that one - Again, I agree with Scot when he says that "great things can happen while using bits of others work..."

  2. Yes, I do agree that as teachers we do get away from copyright infringement due to fair use. But, how can we talk about famous period pieces of art and how it may reflect the time period if we cannot show the actual piece? Our whole profession deals with what has happened before, analyzing it, and making it relevant to today. No, we shouldn't take it for granted and download and burn DVDs for each child, but we should be considerate to the author(s) and to what we are trying to get out of the piece.

  3. great summary and assessment of your feelings about copyright. Excellent way to move the conversation forward. I guess it's the nature of Law to start with something simple and then get more and more complicated with every decision. Ack.