Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

A Teachable Copyright Moment from Erik Qualman

Today in New York I shared the presentation, “The Roadmap to Blended Learning” for school administrators at a Technology Leadership Institute hosted by the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center.

I showed several videos during the presentation, and the first one was “Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)” by Erik Qualman. My question to school administrators preceding and following this video was:

Why should communication changes matter in school?

Interestingly, the original YouTube version of this video has been taken offline by Google for a copyright violation. Apparently the music is copyrighted by EMI and Erik either didn’t file a fair use claim on YouTube for the use of the video or that claim was rejected by Google. The video is still available on Vimeo, however. It appears “the copyright police” on Vimeo aren’t as strict or sophisticated in their media analysis algorithms as those on YouTube for Google.

Social Media Revolution - Copyright Teachable Moment

The copyright “teachable moment” from Erik Qualman here, which should be shared with students, relates directly to the “Harry Potter Can Fly” mnemonic for intellectual property and media creation guidelines. When students want to use music in a video project, encourage them to NOT directly go to copyrighted sources. Instead, challenge them to follow this menu of options:

Harry Potter Can Fly
H = Homegrown
P = Public Domain
C = Creative Commons
F = Fair Use

Only if homegrown, public domain and Creative Commons music options absolutely won’t work for the purpose and audience of a video project should copyrighted music be used. Copyrighted music shouldn’t be our “first choice” before an immense landscape of legal alternatives when creating and sharing media projects online.

Harry Potter Can Fly!

Eric and other video creators today are well advised to use Creative Commons licensed music in videos like this, rather than entire copyrighted works. While the re-use of copyrighted music without permission CAN constitute “fair use” under U.S. law in some cases, it is much easier and CLEARER to simply use CC licensed media. digCCmixter is a great, free resource to use to find music for your videos and other student media projects. The website slogan makes it clear why: “You already have permission.”

dig.ccmixter “You already have permission…”

More copyright-friendly music and audio resources are available on the Storychasers wiki, as well as the “audio” page of

I published the recorded audio from today’s 1.5 hour presentation in New York as an unedited podcast on “Fuel for Educational Change Agents.” Of the 99 slides I had prepared, I got to number 69. I used Switch software to convert the 34.4 MB MP3 file (which is 95 minutes long) to WAV format, normalized the audio with free Levelator software, then compressed that output file to a 16 kbps mp3 file (11.5 MB) again using Switch before publishing it. I did NOT edit out the 2 minute sharing/brainstorming sessions during the presentation, however, so if you’re using a mobile podcasting app like you can “skip ahead” 4 30 second clicks to avoid those.

If you have any comments or feedback from today’s presentation I’d love to hear them. Today’s presentation was a combination of the session slides I shared in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma in August, the “Smart Networks” session shared in Montana in August, and the “Playing with Media” sessions I’ve been sharing at face-to-face conferences as well as in online webinars like the DEN virtual conference a few weeks ago.

By far my favorite video to share today was seven minutes of David Wiley at TEDxNYED in March 2010. His messages about sharing and openness in education are VITAL for every leader in our communities (not just those “in education”) to hear and understand.

Hat tip to Dean Shareski for pointing me to David Wiley’s ideas in his pre-conference keynote last year for the K-12 Online Conference, “Sharing: The Moral Imperative.” My question to New York school leaders after watching that video clip was:

How can we share like this?

I think it’s a great question. With respect to the original topic of this post, copyright and intellectual property issues, Creative Commons needs to be a significant part of “the answer” to that question.

'Another Year, Another Creative Commons T-Shirt for Two Photo' photo (c) 2007, Beth Kanter - license:

Remember you can access and contribute to the growing archive of student media projects using digital text, audio, images AND video on

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



, ,




3 responses to “A Teachable Copyright Moment from Erik Qualman”

  1. Erik Qualman Avatar

    Great post! The newest video is here and I’ve become friends with the 2-time Grammy winner Christopher Tin!