Muddling through the blogosphere

Live from NECC – Best Practices in Fair Use for 21st Century Educators


I’m in my first workshop for NECC 2009 – Renee HobbsFair Use for Educators session. With copyright being such a huge and complex issue, I’m hoping to get a better handle on all those sticky issues teachers deal with increasingly as they led their students onto online learning and producing of content.

Joining Renee Hobbs are Joyce Valenza, who just shared the wiki for this event –; Mike RobbGrieco, and Kristen Hokanson. There’s even a link to the session handout!

Renee has kicked off the session by assuring us that by end of the three hours all our questions on copyright will be answered:-)

She’s starting by walking us through her slide presentation, which I’m annotating below:

  • What is media literacy? “It’s the sharing of meaning through symbolic forms.”
  • Question: What’s the purpose of copyright? Partner activity
    • owner’s rights
    • ability to make a profit
    • other?
  • Purpose of copyright is to promote creativity, innovation and spread of knowledge – Article 1, Section 8 US Constitution. So where did our misunderstandings come from?
  • Section 110 copyright law – allows teachers to share entire video despite “for home use only” statement. Section 107 1976 – “The right to use copyrighted materials freely without payment or permission for purposes such as ‘criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.”
  • How Teachers Cope:
    • see no evil
    • close the door
    • hyper-comply
  • How does fair use apply to using popular and mass media? We’re watching the Center for Social Media video – -overview – which I watched for the first time last fall – and realized I could no longer use Hall Davidson’ niffy two-page chart. It’s all about “Transformativeness” = adding new meaning and value to an original works.
  • Myth buster: There are no cases of educators being sued for using copyrighted materials for teaching and learning who have actually sued. “Reasonable standard” of fair use – exempts educators liability if you made a reasonable attempt to comply with copyright as pertains to educational purposes.
  • Fair use reasoning in action: “When a user of copyrighted materials adds value to, or re-purposes materials for a use different from that for which it was originally intended, it will likely be considered transformative use; it will also likely be considered fair use” – Joyce Valenza. This is huge piece of the fair use puzzle!

Remix in Eduction – Mike RobbGrieco – also with Renee at Temple University – “Our students are fully immersed in remix culture. Remix is a way to make sense of our culture – but also well-suited for commentary, critique, and democratic exchange.”

  • Questions to ask: (and the video is incorporated into lesson – p 17 of handout).
    • benefit to society vs. cost to copyright older
    • transformativeness (is purpose transformed: is context transformed?
    • What is the effect on potential markets?
    • What is the amount of source text used

Back to Renee – How do you grab clips from DVDs – which are encrypted with the purpose of preventing copying? Renee went to Library of Congress Copyright Office regarding ability to de-encript DVD clips. She’ll know in October if her request will become a reality. And she emphasizes that “If we don’t claim our right, they’ll erode into ‘pay for click.'”

Kristen Hokanson – Oh, my… Watch Kristen’s video on her Upper Merrian Case Study. She’s also created a PDF worksheet to guide teachers. Check out her hands-on Scenarios! We broke into groups to work with the cards, which generated very focused conversations. Great stuff!!

This workshop is the only fee-based one I’ve signed up for. It was worth every penny! I actually feel that I have a handle on fair use for educators – and am looking forward to taking this training and resources back to my district.


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