Friday, September 26, 2008

Fair Use: An Introduction

Hey, Bloggers!

I am new to all this as well, but my impressions of what a blog should be is an interactive place to share our ideas so I am hoping that when you all get a chance, that you will take the time to participate in a discussion on copyright and fair use here. I also look forward to checking out your blogs, too!

First, I want to share some of my own thoughts and experiences in relation to copyright. Though I think we all have been generally aware of copyright issues and have all seen this warning
at the beginning of every movie we have ever watched. I think when a discussion about copyright law starts, many peoples' reactions tend to be "Ugh, this is really confusing and scary!" Although I think as future librarians and for some of you, current educators, it is important to be aware of copyright issues and to follow a few simple rules. I will get around to posting the details of fair use as discussed in chapter 3 of our text (p. 39-48), Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide, 4th ed. by Carol Simpson, but first, I would like to ask you a few general copyright questions:

1. Have you heard of "fair use" before this class?

2. If so, when/where did you first here of this phrase? Please briefly share your prior knowledge on this subject.

3. You may have already answered this question in #2, but if not, did you ever have a class in undergrad studies or an educational presentation on copyright or "fair use" issues?

I am especially interested in what education, if any, you received in a teacher education program or otherwise, on copyright. I have to admit that I only recently heard of much of the terminology such as fair use, public domain, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and the TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act, and surprisingly, I don't recall any formal class or even part of a class that addressed the topic in my undergrad courses as an English Education major. I definitely think that students in teacher education programs should be required to take a course that could be entitled, "Teachers & the Law" or how about "Legal Issues for Educators"? This course could cover all sort of legal issues including copyright law, teachers' unions, and teachers' and students' rights. I guess my most recent education on copyright issues was when I attended a webinar with a keynote speaker who talked about copyright. I will provide information about that in my next post. I would like to close my first blog posting ever by sharing with you a YouTube link entitled, "A Fair(y) Use Tale" by Eric Faden that I first viewed as part of the aforementioned keynote speaker presentation. Here's the link:

Enjoy, and I looked forward to hearing about your thoughts and experiences about fair use and copyright! ~Steph


Michelle said...

Hi Stephanie-

Your blog looks great. I like the touch of adding a poll question. To answer your other questions:
#1- Yes, I have heard of fair use before.

#2- I learned about it about a year ago when I attended a school library media specialist workshop. Unfortunately, the presenter was very dry and uniteresting and I didn't take much away from his presentation.

#3- No, I never took a course that covered anything even close to copyright law or any other education law for that matter, but agree with you complete it is necessary in the this day in age for all young educators entering this field.

I think I have answered all your questions, but am unable to click back to make sure. :) Hmmm, something not so user friendly about blogs. No matter, I am enjoying this blogging experience and hope to have mine up this week.

Oh and thanks for sharing the YouTube video. Very cute.


Steph Herfel said...


Thanks for becoming the first person to answer the questions posted in my first blog! I guess it's hard to make copyright law interesting, but it's too bad your workshop was so dull. I really appreciate your compliments and can't wait to see your blog!

lorena said...

I love the video. Simple, fun and effective! I can try to answer your questions.
1) I had heard of fair use before this class.
2) I learned of fair use in high school when doing research for term papers, etc. I used to be petrified of copying anything, even though it would have made it so much easier to copy a couple pages of text just to read at home!
3) This is my first real formal experience with copyright education. I've never had the opportunity to take classes or go to seminars, etc. on the topic, so I'm very glad now that we're getting a first-hand peak at so many different aspects of it. I also agree with you that it would have been beneficial in undergrad studies. I have an el ed degree, but never touched on any of this throughout my 4 years!
Nice job!