Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Copyright for Information Professionals (IST 735), week 4

This week is about Fair Use and the mandatory readings are:
  • Title 17, Section 107
  • Crews. Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators. Chapters 8-11 and appendix B.
  • Should "Happy Birthday" be Protected by Copyright? (8 min. video), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzbSt0QG7mY (As you can see, some "readings" are other things.)
This topic always creates a questions and discussions that weave in and out of the remainder of the semester, and I expect the same this year.

As I mentioned in my lecture, everything in weeks 1-3 sets the stage for now talking about the limitations (or exceptions) in the law.  Fair Use is the first limitation that we'll discuss.

I try very hard not to add mandatory readings after the semester has begin.  I learned of a paper/report /essay that Kenny Crews recently wrote and added it as another optional reading.  The paper is  Snapshots of Copyright: Pictures, Puzzles, and Ponderings from 'Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators' which is meant to be a standalone piece as well as a companion to his book. (Abstract below) This is an interesting read because Crews uses the images in his book as the fodder to talk about the copyright on pictures and other things.  I could see using this to help spark an in-class discussion on copyright (e.g., on works for hire).

Crews did not write a conclusion to his essay.  However, I find the last story about Richard Wright to be  a fitting "end".  (It is just one more of the snapshots that he presents.)  Here we are reminded that even after death, the copyright on your works remains and that litigation can still occur.  As I read about Wright, I am also reminded that copyright can be complex.   He was an American, who moved to France and continued his writing career in France. He then should have held copyrights in at least two countries; a complexity that I doubt his estate appreciated.  Copyright...a simple right that can be quite complicated.


Crews, Kenneth (August 2013). Snapshots of Copyright: Pictures, Puzzles, and Ponderings from 'Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators'
Abstract:  The recent third edition of the book Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators includes photographs to enhance the exploration of relevant copyright principles. This essay goes beyond brief principles and captions to tell the more detailed stories behind the pictures and to pose challenges and legal conundrums. This essay is a useful supplement to the book, but it is also written to stand alone as a learning tool for exploring copyright concepts (all photographs are included). Photograph subjects include: Oscar Wilde, petroglyphs, Navajo Supreme Court, Munich Lions, 1964 World’s Fair, Empire State Building, Obama Poster, Bibliotheque nationale, WIPO headquarters, Beatles music, and the grave of Richard Wright.

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