I'm starting to get back to lessons - as are all of you with the beginning
of school. One thing I constantly have to be aware of is copyright. We
want our lessons to use American Memory, but good research demands multiple
views, meaning other materials - which may be under copyright protection.
It's a thorny issue, as many Fellows have discovered when I've asked for
copyright permissions or citations for other materials they've used.
Fair use applies to the classroom, but not necessarily to when we publish
lessons on the Web. It's a hugh gray area - and we don't have the
answers, just lots of questions. In fact, we'll be having a meeting with
our legal advisor in a month to get up to speed on our responsibility as a
Web content provider to the education community. (We do have a Copyright
and Fair Use statement under Research Tools on the Learning Page, but that
applies to educators/students using American Memory materials.)
Where is all this leading? There's currently a discussion on another
listserv, WWWEDU, about copyright and I thought you'd be interested in one
of the posts. This person used to be a copyright attorney, and is now in
education as you'll see from her signature.
****post from WWWEDU****
The Internet is going to change far more than this. The first copyright law In
England was enacted after the invention of the printing press. The law granted
copyrights to the *publisher* in exchange for the publisher's willingness to
abide by the censorship laws of the crown. After about a century, which saw
rise of the middle class and the rise of individual rights, the law was
(over the anguished cries of the publishers) to grant copyright rights to the
creators. However, publishers have always been the ones in the position of
control -- they decide what gets published. And publishers are the key special
interest group when it comes to enacting provisions of copyright law.
Until the creation of the Internet, creators always have had to work through
publishers to get to the public. This is the basic paradigm that has changed.
Creators can have direct relationships with the individuals utilizing their
works. This underlying shift in the copyright paradigm is playing a role in
Napster issue and the Steven King publication.
There are also major perterbations emerging in the academic publishing
industry. Sooner or later professors are going to catch on to the fact that
they have placed major publishing companies in charge of deciding who gets
tenure or not (publish or perish) and they are going to realize that they get
very little compensation, if any, from the publication and rerpductions of
their research papers, and that they are paying for the right to copy the
research papers written by other researchers for their classes and very
if nothing, of the amount they are paying is actually going back to the
researchers who wrote the papers. This whole paradigm will change within the
One of the difficulties in education is that teachers, who place the needs of
their students highest, are always trying to push the limits of fair use, but
need, at the same time, to teach respect for copyright law. The only way
new copyright paradigm is going to work is if people continue to respect the
role of the creator and ensure that the creator is adequately and fairly
reimbursed, so that he/she can continue creating. If we fail to respect and
reimburse the creator who else do we think will do this? The folks who pay for
creations are the folks who control what gets created. It used to be that rich
people paid for creations, then we shifted to the publishers being in control.
Is our future paradigm advertiser-supported creations (God, I hope not!).
This is why I think it is so important that educators be on the forefront of
teaching respect for copyright law -- which is difficult right now because of
the shifting paradigm.
End of lecture, there will be a test tomorrow.
Project Director, Responsible Netizen
Center for Advanced Technology in Education
College of Education, 5214 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5214
541-346-2895 (office) 541-346-6226 (fax)
Web Page: http://netizen.uoregon.edu
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Judith K. Graves
National Digital Library Program
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-1320
[log in to unmask] (V)202/707-2562 (F) 202/252-3173