Notes from “Erasing Copyright Confusion” at NCTE 2009

Notes from “Erasing Copyright Confusion” at NCTE 2009

Joyce Valenza, Renee Hobbs, Kristin Hokanson, and Michael RobbGrieco

Center for Social Media

  • Renee Hobbs, Temple — What is the purpose of copyright?
    • Protect intellectual property
    • Ownership, profit
    • Authors’ right
  • In fact, the purpose of copyright is to promote creativity, innovation, and the spread of knowledge
    • Owners have pushed for longer length of copyright
  • How we Cope as Educators with Copyright
    • “See no evil” teachers — don’t examine copyright issues at all
    • “Close the door” teachers — know that there is something to copyright, yet keep it private
    • “Hyper-comply” teachers — they hold on to this idea more strongly for their students than themselves
  • When I use creative materials, which concepts apply?
    • Attribution — citing your sources (an academic community’s normative conventions that they agree upon to acknowledge other’s work)
    • Plagiarism — not acknowledging source material used in your work
    • Infringement — copying another’s work in violation of the law
    • Fair Use — the legal use of copyrighted works without permission or payment
    • Licensing — Asking permission and paying a fee
  • Copyright balances the rights of owners with the rights of users
    • Owners get to control how their work is controlled and distributed for a limited use of time
    • As users, however, we have some rights, too
    • All those things you knew about the “30 second rule,” the “10% rule,” the “45 day rule” are not the law
      • The charts that you see, they are not the law — they are negotiated agreements that have “the appearance of positive law”
      • The guidelines actually limit our understandings of fair use
      • You can use copyrighted material in a variety of ways — criticism, comment, news reporting, scholarship AND creative work
      • Peter Jazi — the benefits to society outweigh the private costs to the copyright holder, or else copyright law becomes a form of private censorship
  • Michael RobbGrieco, Temple — Responding to the Rise of Remix Culture: Challenges and opportunities for teaching, learning, and literacy
    • Are you a part of remix culture?
      • Build on others?
      • Quote passages?
      • Do you have a website?
    • Our students are fully immersed in a remix culture
      • Remix is how our students add their own personal experience to the wider culture and make their experience known to others
      • Can remix perpetuate cultural norms that are oppressive?
      • Critical remix for democracy, dialogue, and exchange
      • Single Ladies in Mayberry
    • Develop media literacy skills
      • Balancing producer and consumer identities
      • Can create shallow engagement without critical interpretation (this is where educators come in)
      • How do we realize the potential of fair use while also facing the challenges that are present?
      • How can we be critical with our students and invite interpretation and argument?
      • Michael’s video: Copyright, What’s Copyright?
  • Kristin Hokanson, Upper Merion High School
    • What does it mean to add value to other people’s work?
    • Use of Flickr images for a biology project
    • Use of Dave Matthews “Gravedigger” with Spoon River Anthology
    • Media Lab’s “Teach Them to Reason” tool
    • Ending Copyright Confusion Wiki
    • Attribution is an ethical practice, not a legal one; citing sources doesn’t let you off the hook
    • Fair use is a reasoning process that requires critical thinking; context and situation determine how fair use applies.
    • Am I creating something new (through transformative use), or am I redistributing (which is, in contrast, a violation of the law)?
  • Joyce Valenza, Springfield Township High School
  • This project is a user-rights movement
    • The Code of Best Practices for Fair Use is NCTE’s official policy on fair use
    • The guidelines that have been created since the implementation of the 1970s copyright law were brought about from negotiations by the media industry; the guidelines that were created are not set down as the law


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