Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here are some interesting comments by a professor from Perdue about copyright and fair use. He focuses in part on the recent lawsuits from the recording industry against individuals for illegal downloading. Whether you agree or disagree with the professor's views, it will get you thinking. Be sure to click on the useful embedded links.

Some Comments on Copyright and on Fair Use by Professor Eugene Spafford

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Copyright Chart for Teachers

Here is a great 2 page chart to help educators evaluate copyright issues in various contexts.

Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for Teachers

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Copyright on NPR

If you missed the Morning Edition story about Fair Use and Copyright on Monday, here is a link:

Thursday, May 3, 2007

From Soup to Nuts: Copyright, Social Networking Technologies, and Electronic Surveillance

From the Educause Midwest Regional Conference in March. You can read the text of a speech on a variety of issues including digital copyright. Below is a copy of the abstract from the websites

This session will survey a number of current issues of interest to higher education IT such as developments in the digital copyright arena, the present and future of social networking technologies (from the law and policy perspectives), and electronic surveillance five years since the passage of the Patriot Act (from a security-privacy perspective)."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Privacy versus Intellectual Property:Detection Methods Used by Copyright Holders

I recently mentioned in a copyright presentation that the web has made it much easier for people to catch your copyright violations. And there are armies of people out there trying to catch you. Here is an interesting paper on just how they go about it.

Privacy versus Intellectual Property:Detection Methods Used by Copyright Holders

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Another Copyright law in the works

Florida Representative Ric Keller has introduced the Curb Illegal Downloading on College Campuses Act of 2007. This act would enable the US Department of Education to introduce and expand anti-piracy efforts on campuses.

A good use of taxpayers dollars? You decide. Here's a link to a blogger who thinks not.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Another good copyright summary

If you have students post to forums, usenets, listservs, blogs, etc, it might be useful for them to read a copyright warning from such a source. Here is a useful debunking of several copyright myths in plain language. Its location on a sports forum might make it more accessible to students.

Notice to Everyone posting

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Students protect their copyright

You may have heard of, a service designed to catch plagiarism. Many schools subscribe to the service. They check a paper against a huge database of other papers to see if the work is original or not. Well, a few students whose work became part of that database have sued for violation of their copyright. Interesting stuff.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Math videos on Google

Ok, this is not strictly related to copyright, but is pretty cool and you should know about it. Pearson education and Google have teamed up to make math videos available to the masses. You can link to these videos from your website or blackboard classroom and have the ability to provide great content that is no work for you. What could be better?

Well, it could be better if it were all free - students can purchase the lectures for 99 cents to $3.99 for lectures and textbook chapters. There are some free lectures available as well.

These kinds of lectures can be especially useful for folks who have math components in their non-math classes and need some way for the folks who need extra help to get it without taking up class time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fair Use - Use it or lose it

This article is from last year, but sets out an interesting argument about the chilling effect of copyright protection. The examples given are on satirical artistic expression.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


If you were at my workshop on Monday, you learned about the prosed FAIR USE Act. Here is a little more information about it from a critical perspective -

If you missed the workshop, you're in luck. We are offering it again early in Spring quarter. Keep an eye out for the announcement.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Digital media, ethics and law

Here is a handy explanation of ethical and legal issues around the use of digital media from the University of Michigan -

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Google violating Copyright?

Google's motto is "do no evil", yet compaines like Micrisoft and Viacom, are accusing Google of that very thing through it's "overbroad" reading of fair use. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Insurance for Documentary Filmmakers

Copyright has been challenge for some documentary filmmakers. Now an insurance company has teamed up with Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project to protect filmmakers against claims of fair use violation.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Art and Copyright

Here is an artist's report on a copyright conference of the New York Bar Association and the College Art Association titled "Reexamining Appropriation: The Copy, the Law, and Beyond." Interesting reading!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Copyright Brochure

The Association of Research Libraries has published a brochure that you may find useful. "Know Your Copy Rights—What You Can Do - A 2007 Brochure Aimed at Faculty and Teaching Assistants" is available for free download from the organization's copyright website.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

FAIR USE Act of 2007 Introduced in Congress this week

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that a bill was introduced in Congress this week to make it easier for educators to use copyrighted materials.

The bill is called The Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing U.S. Entrepreneurship Act of 2007, or Fair Use Act (HR 1201). The bill was introduced by Congressman Rick Boucher of Virginia. He discusses the details of the bill here.

The bill is supported by the Library Copyright Alliance, which includes the American Library Association, but opposed by the recording industry (surprise, surprise).

Feel free to post your thoughts on this bill - would it help with your teaching?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Coyright Conference

Star Trek fans will look forward to the upcoming copyright conference at Ball State University in Indiana on April 11. The conference title is "Digital Trek: To boldly explore copyright in teaching and learning".

Friday, February 23, 2007

Documentaries and Fair Use

Here is an interesting article about fair use and documentaries.

"Documentary films are an important source of education, commentary and criticism," Media/Professional president Leib Dodell said. "Rigidly requiring licensees or releases in all cases does not give filmmakers the flexibility to take advantage of fair use in appropriate situations. This initiative makes fair use work in the real world of independent filmmakers."

Documakers getting aid on Fair Use, The Hollywood Reporter, February 23, 2007

For additional information on this topic, see this post from the Info/Law blog.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

International view of US Copyright

The BBC published an interesting article today, US copyright lobby out-of-touch by Michael Geist, a Canadian professor at the University of Ottawa.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Copyright Tutorial

Western Washington University has a handy interactive Copyright Tutorial if you'd like to test your knowledge in this area.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Copies of Out of Print Materials

Here is some interesting commentary on the use of old and out of print materials. -

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Attempt to educate kids about copyright fails

OK, so I know this happened in Canada and I know that it is about educating kids and not our audience of adults, but I thought this article about a failed attempt to educate kids about copyright was quite interesting. An effort to educate kids as early as first grade met with such huge opposition that it shut down altogether, determining that there was no way to make everyone happy. I could really see this happening in the US.

It should also make you wonder - what are you doing to educate your students about copyright?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Copyright and the web

If you are curious about copyright issues as they relate to your web content, you should have a look at this website, From Now On. The linked article discusses several of the issues of copyright and the web.

Also, save March 26 on your calendar. At 1:00 we'll be doing a copyright workshop directly aimed at websites and online instruction. Keep your eye on your e-mail for additional details.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Fair Use Meets Free Speech on Campus

A student at Binghamton University in New York created a parody website on the Campus web server and quickly lost access to her website, her e-mail and her research as punishment. The student argued that the parody fell into the protection of Fair Use. The University claims institutional rules were broken.

Pipe Dream on the Web

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Public Domain Music Resource

Here is an interesting collection of links to public domain music resources, including sheet music, choral music, music research, amd even film and video. If you like music, this is worth a look.

Public Domain Music

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Music Technology in Education

The weblog (aka "blog") Music Technology in Education has started a special category of posts called "Copyright or Copywrong?". The posts are in a question answer format and are short but helpful. The first edition answers the question as to whether it is ok for a music department to record a concert and then post the concert on its website. The blogger answers no. Visit the Music Technology in Education blog for the analysis.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Using Student Work

If you want to use student work as models or examples (or any other purpose), you need to get the student's permission to do so. I often just ask a student via e-mail whether I can use their work and their reply via e-mail serves as my written record of their permission.

You can also do this more formally with a form. Here are some examples from other institutions to give you an idea of how you might want to put such a form together.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Compliance Officers?

More and more colleges are hiring compliance officers to make sure the institution is in compliance with relevant rules and regulations, including copyright law? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Read this article from the Chronicle for Higher Education -

Now, use the comment link below to share your two cents. Should South have a compliance officer?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Safe Stuff on Google

Now, you can find public domain music, images and more using Google. Just click on Advanced Search. Near the bottom of the advanced search box is Usage Rights. You can use the drop down menu next to it to find "free to use or share" and "free to use and modify".

This is a great way to target a copyright safe search.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Copyright Exemptions for Film Courses

A decision from the US Copyright Office will make it easier to create compilations from DVD's.
On January 5, WebWire reported an exemptions for “Audiovisual works included in the educational library of a college or university’s film or media studies department…for the purpose of making compilations of portions of those works for educational use in the classroom.”

The article also notes new exemptions for copying material in obsolete formats and material requiring equipment that is no longer manufactured.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Fair Use Analysis Tool

Wondering whether your use is a fair use? While there no substitute for a legal opinion and no absolute black and white answers in fair use, you can certainly perform a relevant balancing test using this handy checklist from Indiana University.

Just go through the list and check the information that best matches your use. When you are done, print out the checklist and save it as a reference if any questions come up about your use in the future.

Also take a moment to read their useful Introduction to Fair Use, linked at the top of the page.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Stanford Fair Use Center

Do you want to keep up on current copyright news as it relates to fair use and higher education? One easy way (besides checking out our own Copyright Matters blog) is to subscribe to the Stanford Fair Use Newsletter. Just visit The newsletter sign up is on the lower right hand side of the page.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Horse's Mouth -

Have you created a work that you would like to have copyrighted? Whether it be a print document, music, image, dance - any creative work can be copyrighted. But how do you do it?

The US Copyright Office has a handy website with all the information you need to do all sorts of things related to copyright, including registering your work -

Got something in mind that isn't quite done yet? Want to collaborate but are afraid your idea might be stolen? Did you know you could pre-register your work? Just click on this handy link -