Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Fair Use Explained Clearly

This document, "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education," is an excellent resource for understanding Fair Use. It puts the power and responsibility of choosing appropriate media for instructional use in the hands of the educator as the law intends instead of making us feel like we are getting away with something by using any media. It also makes clear to me that in cases where I have felt like students' use of media wasn't covered by fair use I was right. "...students may use copyrighted music for a variety of purposes, but cannot rely on fair use when their goal is simply to establish a mood or convey an emotional tone, or when they employ popular songs simply to exploit their appeal and popularity." The original work needs to be repurposed or transformed in such a way that its use contributes to an educational goal.


Christine said...

Thanks for your comments on the reading Erik. I also found the article useful.

About your students who are misusing songs, I guess the next question is how can learners transform the songs they like? Mashups? Does your school also have something like Apple's JAMPack with royalty free music students can use to make that mood?

Erik N. said...

Wikimedia Commons is the only source I've directed students to, though I know there are a lot of other places they could go. I'll take a look at JamPack. Thanks!