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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Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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