Saturday, April 10, 2010

Copy-right police or just copy it 'right' and no police

Our class discussion this week revisits the issue of who should be advocating for copyright compliance in your school. It really is an important topic and I am glad our prof brought this discussion back to the forefront. In Simpson this week, she focuses her attention specifically on copyright permissions. I know I may feel this issue has been really drawn out, but, professionals do not seem to get the hint despite their co-workers and co-teachers best efforts to make them aware and informed about copyright issue. My first suggestion to understanding copyright is 'use common sense" and "don't be lazy about asking questions and seeking answers". Fair use guidelines can be a tricky topic, but if you follow the rules of fair use in Chapter three you will be a-okay. As a librarian, I hope to extensively collaborate with other teachers to get out the word on copyright laws and fair use practices. Teachers have a daunting task of making sure all their students are academically and personally successful. To achieve this goal, one must be organized and plan ahead. If you do your teaching homework, get organized, and plan ahead you will be in good shape. If you have never been to creative, or lack creativity, this is really important. Seek help to solve your creativity issues and do not forget to solicit suggestions from students. How would you do that? Well, if you have your heart set on using or showing copyrighted materials, send out your requests six to twelve months ahead of time and then be persistent. If you hear no response, it is time for a change of plans. If you want to avoid copyright hassles, make up your own graphics, artwork, music, etc. to enrich your class. There are hundreds of sites that will assist you in making any kind of video, poster, music, movie etc. that you could desire. If this isn't your cup of tea, head to Google and start searching for programs to help you ignite a creative spark. You may find a hidden talent you never knew you had. I really believe we should be models of honesty and integrity to our students inside and outside the classroom.

Here's my opinion on how educators and copyright permission (from our class discussion)

"I think teachers should take charge of this themselves. Maybe a group of teachers could create a sample 'copyright permission' form, sort of like a graphic organizer, that prompts the teacher to fill in certain important items: company & address, name and date of work, reason for request, financial gain or no financial gain, reason use would be most useful, and the teacher could bring this to an office staffer who sends out these requests and helps keep them organized. Possible outcomes; the teacher will feel strongly about using this and will take the necessary steps to get permission, they will create an original song/art for their own use, or they will do nothing, but will know they are being deceptive. This reminds of a web seminar from a couple weeks, when the male presenter pretty much said, look if you're not an organized person who will plan way ahead of schedule, get creative and take ownership or your work and create something yourself. "

I do not want to be a clone for the copyright police. If educators and administrators could just copy and use the things the right way, there would be no need for police. I could handle being copyright consultant,it just sounds more helpful and friendly.

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