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updated sat 25 dec 99


Frank Gaydos on fri 24 dec 99

I know this subject has been discussed already but here is an update from =
local newspaper: It also contains informative links....
PS Happy Holidays all.
tech.k12 / Joyce Kasman Valenza

Even in the Web world, copyright rules apply
Students and teachers don't get more breaks than others. However, fair-use
guidelines can provide some leeway.
Digital media have made it so very convenient to scan and download, to cut =
paste. Because there are no longer mechanical barriers to reproduction, it =
tempting to want to treat the Internet as one big multimedia copy machine.

As students publish on the Web and produce multimedia projects, copyright =
become increasingly complex. Few students welcome my warnings about citing =
source of every image, sound and video clip they have pasted, scanned and

My concern over the protection of intellectual property (and avoiding
litigation) appeared to be in direct conflict with the unofficial happy
philosophy of the free flow and use of information on the Web.

Confused and concerned, I sought the advice of experts. And I am afraid that=
information I am about to share may spoil the party.

=22It's a myth that students can do things the rest of the population can't =
said Gary Becker, a national copyright law consultant and author of =
Copyright: A
Guide to Information and Resources. =22The law does not make special =
for kids.=22

Becker explained that students do not always see the parallels. Stealing
intellectual property does not seem the same as =22stealing a bike out of
someone's garage.=22

Becker and I discussed the legal principle of fair use. It defines =
on the exclusive rights of copyright holders and provides the means by which
teachers and students may use portions of copyrighted works without seeking
permission or making payment to the copyright holder.

Under the Copyright Act of 1976, the fair-use exemption has allowed =
and students the use of limited portions of copyrighted material for =
purposes if the marketability of the work is not compromised by the use.

Because of technological developments since 1976, the Consortium of College =
University Media Centers revisited the fair-use exemption. The consortium's
participants included publishers, government organizations and educational
institutions. Their recommendations, released in September 1996 as the Fair =
Guidelines for Educational Multimedia, at, cover the types of
projects students typically create using such popular academic authoring =
as Power Point, HyperStudio and Kid Pix. The document guides students and
teachers in how to acceptably use portions of copyrighted works in =
educational activities without having to seek the permission of copyright

=22The guidelines were adopted and blessed by Congress,=22 Becker said. =
=22Like the
photocopying guidelines and off-air taping guidelines =5Bfor radio and
television=5D, they are a set of agreements. If you follow fair-use =
you will not be viewed as violating copyright.=22

But Becker suggests that problems begin when teachers =22push the =
envelope,=22 such
as making more copies of software than the exemption allows.

=22Like oil and water, educational rationale and the law don't always =
mix,=22 Becker
said. =22The Robin Hood approach just doesn't hold up.=22

Becker says the real intent of the guidelines is to stimulate creativity.

=22What is the appropriate role for technology in the classroom?=22 Becker =
=22Shouldn't we encourage students to be originally creative rather than to
electronically plagiarize? When kids whip up these presentations, the =
teacher is wowed. But if it were a traditional research paper, photocopied =
pasted from multiple sources, the kids would have gotten an 'F'.=22

Awareness of the guidelines has to begin early. =22Any second grader who =
scanned images into Kid Pix needs to know how to handle that material,=22 =
Carol Simpson, professor of library and information sciences at the =
of North Texas, and the author of Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide.
=22That second grader should understand that she needs to include a =
statement on
her opening slide: 'I used other people's material in my project. Don't use
these again without asking first.' =22

The multimedia guidelines set clear limits for educational multimedia
production, but what about publishing educational projects on the Web? And =
about using material from the Web in any project?

As far as using materials from the Web in classroom projects, =22the =
Internet is
easy to address,=22 Becker said. =22Everything is to be considered =
unless the site itself grants additional privileges.=22 That is, ask for
permission before you use materials unless it is clearly noted that =
is already granted or the materials are copyright-free or in the public =

And what about publishing?

=22When you put something up on the Web, you are not only reproducing it, =
you are
redistributing it and you are at risk,=22 Simpson said. =22Fair use applies =
the classroom, but not beyond.=22

Careful citation alone is not enough.

Students should obtain permission for all copyrighted portions of a Web =
It is best to make these requests while the project is being developed. =
=22If they
write and ask permission, the worst that can happen is that they will hear =
=22 Simpson said. =22It's not bad for kids to hear 'no' once in a while. If =
can't find the copyright owner they should consider creating original =

Becker and Simpson agreed that it is important for educators to make it easy=
students to write for permission and for students to make it easy for the
copyright holder to respond.

Becker suggests developing a template letter to make it easy for students to=
permission. =22Copyright owners are often happy to grant permission =
especially if
the request is specific as to the purpose of the use,=22 how much will be =
and how long the items will be. Examples of permission-letter templates are
available through the Groton (Conn.) Public Schools Copyright Implementation
Manual, at htm, and the Bellingham =
Schools site, at http://www.bham. wednet. edu/copyperm.htm

Other issues arise when students use or republish materials they find on the
Web. =22There's a whole lot of stuff up on the Web without permission,=22 =
said, =22including images of trademarked characters.=22 Just because a =
student hears
=22yes=22 does not necessarily mean he or she should go ahead and use a =
piece of
clip art. =22Students must use critical-thinking skills in this area,=22 =
said. If they find a picture of Tweety Bird on a site not associated with =
Brothers, students should ask themselves: =22I know these people didn't =
this image=3B can they really give me permission?=22

Simpson also warns that we need to be aware that =22if a kid draws Mickey =
as far as Disney is concerned, it is Mickey Mouse.=22 Be careful about =
posting any
trademarked image in a student project.

Now I know that many of you are wondering, who is going to pursue a student =
pastes a picture of a cartoon character onto a Kid Pix or a Web project?

In truth, businesses are pursued far more aggressively than schools. =22But
copyright owners get braver each year,=22 Simpson said. She added that the =
those cases are not widely known is because many are settled out of court =
with a
gag order. Simpson took note of a student in Louisville, Ky., who reported =
school for copyright violation. And recently, the Software Publishers
Association investigated the Los Angeles Unified School District over =

=22And there are lots of everyday abuses,=22 Simpson said. She noted that =
Enterprises Inc. is using =22Web scouring=22 software that searches the Web =
locate its own images that are illegally used, and the company is =22suing =
in a
systematic manner.=22

Digital watermarking technology is being developed by other companies to =
copyright violators.

=22It's really an ethical issue,=22 Simpson said. =22You can't blithely tell=
'You can use anyone's stuff anytime you want.' Somebody in the building,
probably the librarian, must understand and educate the educators. Somebody
should be the copyright resource person.

=22Even if they don't want to hear the messages, even if they have real good
excuses: 'We're not making money.' 'It's for the good of the kids.' These
activities are illegal. Just because a lot of people speed doesn't mean that
they are not guilty of speeding.=22

Frank Gaydos
510 Gerritt St.
Philadelphia, Pa.
19147-5821 USA