Doing some research? Brush up on your Copyright knowledge!

Public domain, fair use, academic exemption, DMCA, the TEACH act—there’s a lot to know about copyright law in the United States! As you begin putting your research together into a formal paper, it’s good to refresh yourself on this body of copyright law.

Roger Weaver,  the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Missouri S&T, has prepared a fantastic resource on copyright for all scholars here at S&T. This purpose of this guide is to provide our faculty, students, staff and others in our community an understanding of copyright law and it’s proper application in an academic environment. A better understanding and application of copyright law both avoids potential legal issues and makes us all better stewards of the intellectual property of others.

EdTech recommends starting with the Copyright 101 Tutorial, and then Testing Your Knowledge

TLT Conference 2009: Dr. Margaret Gunderson

Digital Citizenship – Promoting Academic Honesty and Accessibility

[Evaluate this presentation]


This session will focus on planning and designing courses to encourage
academic honesty and appropriate accessibility.  The discussion will
revolve around the rights and responsibilities for basic legal or
policy issues impacting students and instructors in higher education
today.  Specific topics will include cheating vs. academic honesty,
 copyright & intellectual property rights, privacy &
confidentiality, universal design & ADA.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

It is common today for people, students, to make and share videos to tell stories, complete projects or start debates. The internet and websites like YouTube have helped to make it so much easier to share these video creations. This digital platform allows "old" culture to be transformed into new and for a generation to express themselves on a medium they are very comfortable with. To deny the right of these individuals to be creative, would stifle the emerging culture. The number one question that gets asked is "Can I use this video content in my class?". Up until recently, that questions was met with discussion of copyright and fair use. But what does "fair use" mean? Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances. This definition still left lots of room for interpretation.
A distinguished panel of experts, from cultural scholarship, legal scholarship and legal practice, came together to develop a Code of Best Practices. This code was based on research, current personal and nonprofessional video practices and on fair use. This code of best practices was not designed to be restrictive but to give some guidance and framework as individuals are creating their stories, mashups and debates.
Code of Best Practices
1. COMMENTING ON OR CRITIQUING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL – Individuals have the right to evaluate, scrutinize and comment on copyrighted material. This is a safeguard for freedom of expression.
2. USING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL FOR ILLUSTRATION OR EXAMPLE – When using copyrighted material for example, individuals simply need to give proper credit just as someone does who is writing a paper.
3. CAPTURING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL INCIDENTALLY OR ACCIDENTALLY – If it was captured by accident and not staged, it is OK for limited use.
4. REPRODUCING, REPOSTING, OR QUOTING IN ORDER TO MEMORIALIZE, PRESERVE, OR RESCUE AN EXPERIENCE, AN EVENT, OR A CULTURAL PHENOMENON – If an individual takes video of themselves at a concert to remember the experience and they capture some of a song, that is fair use.
6. QUOTING IN ORDER TO RECOMBINE ELEMENTS TO MAKE A NEW WORK THAT DEPENDS FOR ITS MEANING ON (OFTEN UNLIKELY) RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ELEMENTS – It is the same as creating a collage of pictures. Individuals will put together completely unrelated video segments to create something brand new.
These are simply guiding principles that can be used in a variety of hybrid situations. As video making, mashups continue to evolve so with the fair use practices.
To read the full paper go to Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
Update (Malcolm Hays): To help underscore the point the authors of this paper are making about Fair Use, they have added a still image of the "Dramatic Chipmunk" video that made its way around the Internet some time ago. The video linked here is simply a short snippet of a longer video wherein a prairie dog turns to face the camera suddenly. Someone put this short snippet to dramatic music and an Internet sensation was born! This could loosely be construed to fit within guideline number 5 above, as it certainly sparked some notoriety and discussion on the Internet (along with spawning a dozen different variations on this theme).