I posted the following as a comment to Ann Krembs‘ post “Do you have a simple explanation for copyright?” on Jeff Utech‘s U Tech Tips blog. Ann shared Copyright Central’s six minute video, “Copyright Basics – The Video,” in the post. This video is ok overall, but falls far short of the key message I think we need to be sharing as and with educators when it comes to copyright / intellectual property. I do like the way the video highlights the 4 factors which US copyright law specifies for consideration in “fair use” determinations. Still, I don’t think this video hits the mark for educators because it completely fails to address Creative Commons licensing as well as homegrown media.
This was my comment to Ann:
I really think it is critical we find viable ways to simplify copyright discussions. I don’t have a cute acronym for this yet, but the following is what we’re recommending teachers use as guidelines in our “Celebrate Oklahoma Voices” project:
H- Homegrown media
C- Creative Commons licensed media
F – Fair Use of other media
Basically, the idea is that if you can create your own media, you don’t need to ask someone else’s permission to use it in your work. There are limits to this, of course, when you photograph people or copyrighted/trademarked items. Still, this is a good first step.
The second option is to utilize Creative Commons licensed media. Again this is not a panacea, as the Virgin-Australia Flickr photo lawsuit awhile back showed. Still, it can be great to avoid the Fair Use ambiguities by using CC media for which a license to reuse under certain conditions has been granted.
The third option is to look at fair use, and that is what gets complicated. I appreciate you letting me know about this new video, I’d also commend the copyright and fair use materials distributed by Temple University’s Media Education Lab:
If you have a suggestion for how to make the above “H-C-F” process more memorable I’d love to hear it. I shared a “Copyright for Educators” preso in Portland that is available as a slidecast/slideshare, which explains this in some additional detail.
For more background and discussion of the Flickr / Virgin Mobile Australia situation, see my January 2008 post, “Understanding and respecting copyright a problem for many.”
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