Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Can't Claim Ignorance

I try to use my own pictures as much as I can on my blog and in class. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have been the best model for my students when I do not use my own work in class.

I have created videos and used music that was not mine without citations. I have used pictures in presentations without giving credit where it was due.

I claim ignorance.

Photo Credit: Yuba College Public Space via Compfight cc

But with the reading from this week, I have a much better understanding of what is expected of good netizins and some of the laws surrounding copyright laws.

Now I even [kind of] know the copyright laws in Japan which has this clause according to Wikipedia:
  • Educational use: Teachers at non-profit educational institutions are permitted to reproduce copyrighted works for the purpose of teaching, as long as such reproduction does not infringe on the interests of the author. For example, a teacher may duplicate a television program or audio recording, but may not distribute copies of educational software without express permission. Works can also be reproduced in examinations at educational institutions, but the author must be remunerated if the exam is performed for-profit.
Working at a private school where students pay tuition, should I be paying closer attention to what I am doing? Does this law only apply to Japanese work?

I guess I have further reading to do.

I was surprised to read about U.S. copyright laws relating to education in the U.S. In the article, Teachers Should Know Copyright from Wrong, Star Lawrence writes:
Fair use in the classroom is often dependent on the subject matter of the content. Ensign says a teacher may not be allowed to show the film The Lion King to the class simply because it was raining and the kids were squirrelly. It could be shown only if the class were doing a study of Disney films or were engaged in the study of a related subject.
I cannot even play a movie for my class for fun? Really?

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a global law covering copyright? While it would be easier for users, I cannot imagine it ever coming about.


Who would write it?

The U.N.?

How could we possibly get all countries on board with it?

While it would be nice, I don't think it could happen.

My students know that stealing is wrong. Most people do. I think that it is up to us to explain how taking words and work is stealing even when it is so easy to do online.

Being online gives one the feeling of being anonymous but you are not. And even if you were, stealing is stealing.

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