The digital age has brought along with it a debate on copyright laws and whether or not these laws have become unworkable in relation to the availability and popularity of digital technologies.  Many believe copyright laws to be a hindrance to student creativity/productivity, and the question then becomes, by those trying to navigate these restrictive laws, is under what limited circumstances do users’ rights take precedence over owners’ rights, within today’s law?  There seems to be a fine and mystifying line between what can and what will not be deemed as copyright infringement as we enter into the “remix culture,” where combining and editing existing materials to produce a new product has become second nature.

American University’s School of Communication’s Center for Social Media defines fair use as a circumstantial right to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it.  Their website is an excellent resource for teachers with a host of fair use related materials.  The website provides links to fair use teaching materials and tools, where a teacher can find resources like PowerPoint presentations and in-class discussion questions and exercises.  A teacher can also find a bibliography for fair use codes and best practices of varying media genres, which includes the popular Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Aufderheide and Jaszi, and an updated blog that touches upon current fair use questions such as the most recent post “Starting the Semester with Fair Use,” where a high school teacher was provided with helpful, linked videos on how he could better explain copyright issues to his students on a particular topic.

Come to Standish A&B at The College of Saint Rose next Tuesday, September 18 from 12PM – 1:15PM to see what our presenters have to say about teaching with/about copyright and intellectual property!


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