Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers

The California Student Media Festival has a chart on its web site entitled "Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers." Given the organizations behind this Festival -- which include KOCE-TV, Foothills College Center for Innovation, and California School Library Association -- I think the information on the chart has been examined well. I would feel comfortable pointing teachers to this as a guideline, and then to the law for additional information.

In the chart, they talk about what you can do and then the fine print (including what you can't do). Why do teachers need this? Because the creators of the content haven't told them directly. When we create sites of materials that people will want to use, it would be helpful to them if we stated this information upfront, rather than having people (1) contact us with questions or (2) doing what they want, which may not be what we want. If you don't have terms and conditions (or terms of use) on your web site, why not discuss it at a staff meeting and begin to draft something? You might even look at what others have written (for example) and use them as examples.

The same chart is also available on the North Carolina Conference of English Instructors web site. There they explain that was created by Hall Davidson, executive director of educational services and telecommunications at KOCE-TV in California. A "pretty" version of the chart is available here.

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