It has come to our attention that the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and top internet service providers are drafting curriculum to teach kids in California elementary schools that copying is wrong, or as Wired.com puts it, “Downloading is Mean!”
This message is way too simple. In this digital age, the most important thing we should be teaching kids is to be creative and take full advantage of all the web has to offer. Copyright, asking permission, open licensing, and all the other legal nuances, should be seen as secondary (and even complementary) to this purpose. We should be starting with the things kids can do versus what they can’t do.
In addition to the campaign’s overly simple and negative approach, other issues include the complete absence of fair use from the curriculum — exceptions and limitations to copyright that allow various uses of copyrighted materials for educational, journalistic and other purposes. Wired.com reports, “Its president, Marsali Hancock, says fair use is not a part of the teaching material because K-6 graders don’t have the ability to grasp it.”
Assuming the net generation and their younger counterparts are as dumb as assumed in the above statement, the curriculum still leaves out a crucial and growing part of the Internet landscape — the commons of free and open materials in the public domain and/or released under open licenses that actually encourage copying, redistribution, revision, and remix! In short, everything this simplified anti-piracy campaign is conveniently leaving out in its copyright curriculum for kids.
There is a more balanced approach to educating kids about copyright that includes the alternatives, and here are some organizations and experienced educators who have developed copyright curricula. The following list of resources are open educational resources (OER), licensed under a CC license that enables free and legal reuse, redistribution and remix. In short, stuff that is free and just fine and even great to copy!
Copyright curriculum for kids
Common Sense Media’s K-12 Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum
Common Sense Media has developed a comprehensive K-12 Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum for educators to use in their classrooms. Part of the curriculum focuses on Creative Credit & Copyright, which you can navigate easily via their Scope & Sequence tool. The resources are aligned to Common Core standards and licensed under CC BY-NC-SA.
New Media Rights Copyright FAQ Videos
New Media Rights has developed a series of short Copyright FAQ YouTube videos (because what better way to interact with youth but through YouTube?) answering common questions about copyright and the public domain. These videos are drafted by lawyers and read by students and are licensed under CC BY.
Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Teaching Copyright Curriculum
EFF developed this copyright curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom several years ago to counter campaigns like the one above, proving that topics like fair use can be taught! Teachingcopyright.org is available under CC BY.
Australia’s Smartcopying Guide for Schools and Interactive Resource for Kids
Australia has an official website for its schools regarding copyright for educators and students. However, this website, called Smartcopying, doesn’t just cover Australian copyright law — it also covers open educational resources and Creative Commons licenses. It’s quite the comprehensive resource with lesson plans, info sheets, videos, and more, and is licensed under CC BY-SA. This includes All Right to Copy, an interactive web activity “designed to teach students about copyright, and how it impacts them as both users and creators.” These resources are useful even if you’re not Australian, so check it out at http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/ and navigate using the horizontal menu to the topic of your choice.
National Library of New Zealand’s Free to Mix Guide for Educators
The National Library of New Zealand takes a different approach to copyright education; instead of focusing on what students can’t do, it focuses on what teachers and students can do with its Free to Mix guide. The guide was popular enough to spin off its own remix by CC New Zealand (pdf) with beautifully done graphics. Both versions are licensed under CC BY.
Shared Creations: Making Use of Creative Commons
Emily Puckett Rogers and Kristin Fontichiaro with the University of Michigan created this short and colorful lesson plan book for elementary school teachers that covers copyright, the public domain (even trademarks and patents!), and Creative Commons. This book is short and sweet with age-appropriate activities (that are even fun for adults). You can browse the book for free online or purchase a hard copy at the publisher’s website. The book is licensed CC BY-NC-SA.
School of Open’s Copyright 4 Educators
The School of Open, a community of volunteers around the world providing free education opportunities on the meaning and impact of openness in the digital age, offers an online course called Copyright 4 Educators. While this course (offered as adapted to both US and AUS law, but open to anyone) is primarily designed for educators and not kids, teachers can take what they’ve learned and then relay it to their students. The School of Open also offers more kid-friendly resources such as Get CC Savvy, Teach someone something with open content, and numerous lesson plans and activities integrated in CC for K-12 Educators. All School of Open courses on the P2PU platform are licensed under CC BY-SA; others hosted elsewhere may be licensed under CC BY.
This list is not exhaustive; if you know of other copyright education resources, please share them below! And if you would like to contribute to providing free copyright, OER, or CC education opportunities for kids (or adults), please join the School of Open community in its efforts! Visit http://schoolofopen.org/ to get started.2 Comments »
The Peer 2 Peer University, more commonly known now as P2PU by a growing community of self-learners, educators, journalists, and web developers, launches its third round of courses today, opening sign-ups for “courses dealing in subject areas ranging from Collaborative Lesson Planning to Manifestations of Human Trafficking.”
P2PU is simultaneously launching its School of Webcraft, which is a collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation and “is a powerful new way to learn open, standards based web development in a collaborative environment. School of Webcraft courses include Beginning Python Webservices and HTML5.”
In addition, Creative Commons Counsel Lila Bailey is co-facilitating the Copyright for Educators course this round, which will focus on United States law. The course is “for educators who want to learn about copyright, open content material and licensing” and “is taught around practical case studies faced by teachers when using copyright material in their day to day teaching and educational instruction.” For more information, see the course page.
Sign-ups for all other courses are available at http://p2pu.org/course/list. The deadline to sign up is September 8, and courses will run until October 27th. All courses are free to take and openly licensed under CC BY-SA. For more information, see the full announcement, but stay tuned for more courses!Comments Off
The Center for Social Media at AU has released a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare. From the press release,
“OpenCourseWare, the Web-based publication of academic course content launched in 2002 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been lauded for making college-level courses available to anyone anywhere in the world for free. The movement has expanded to include offerings from some of the nation’s most selective universities including the University of Notre Dame and Yale University…
Now, educational organizations have a guide that simplifies the legalities of using copyrighted materials in open courseware—The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare. The code was developed by experts in media and fair use at American University and a committee of practitioners of open courseware from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MIT, Tufts University, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, and Yale University…
The code aims to help OCW designers at U.S. educational organizations recognize situations to which fair use applies and situations that require they get permission from third-party rights holders.”
Last month, ccLearn published “Otherwise Open: Managing Incompatible Content in OER“. For those of you who never got around to reading the paper, it basically provides an overview of the problem posed by the incorporation of “all-rights-reserved” materials into otherwise open educational resources (OER). It also explores ways of dealing with this problem and the trade-offs involved in relying on jurisdictional copyright exceptions and limitations, such as fair use or fair dealing. As the paper is intended to spur further inquiry and research globally, “Otherwise Open” does not offer concrete solutions to the problem right now.
However, the average OER creator cannot afford to wait, especially if they value their work as part of a global learning commons. In order for OER to be global, the copyright of the OER must be viable across jurisdictions. OER that are available under a CC license are global, as CC licenses are effective worldwide. But the inclusion of third party content that is not under the same terms of the license changes the global nature of OER, potentially walling it off from use in other countries. Thus, ccLearn has developed some practical recommendations and alternatives for those OER creators who are concerned with the global reach and impact of their works.
“Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by the use of a Creative Commons license and are generally created by those who would like to share their work globally. However, some creators find the need to consider the costs and benefits of incorporating third-party materials with incompatible licenses into their “otherwise open” OER. This document recommends ways of managing or avoiding the problems that will arise.”
This and all ccLearn Recommendations and productions are licensed CC BY.Comments Off
For those of you in the NY area in October, the New York City Bar has a thought provoking panel discussion coming up on fair use in the era of blogging, Twitter, and Facebook. The panel members hail from the U.S. District Court, the Associated Press, and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, to name a few. And in the spirit of this topic, I’m going to quote from the site now,
“This panel discussion will address the ways in which copyright law’s fair use doctrine has evolved (or may be tested) in an era in which the rise of news aggregation, social networking, and a variety of other websites increasingly allow internet users to combine and transform content from endless sources of media. How transformative are on-line montages and mash-ups? Is the aggregation of headlines or content from news providers infringement or fair use? Does posting copyrighted content on a user’s Facebook or Myspace page undermine the market for that content? When does a blogger’s summary of an article appropriate enough content to constitute copyright infringement? Panelists will offer a broad range of perspectives on these an other issues from the bench, bar, media industry, and legal academy.”
The discussion will be held on Wednesday, October 7 at 6pm, so be sure to register (for free) and drop by.Comments Off
Thanks to all of you who filled out the OER Copyright Survey! The survey is now closed, with many thoughtful responses. Again, we appreciate your responses, among which was an overarching request to have the survey translated. We definitely hope and intend to broaden the survey to more countries and in more languages in the future, and are open to ideas and support. Please contact us if you, an individual you know, or a project/organization you are in touch with is interested in participating in the next stages of research. Participation can be anything from simply responding to the survey in your own language or helping to translate, organize, or analyze the data.2 Comments »
Since then, the OITP at ALA (Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association) has developed and published two new tools: the Fair Use Evaluator and the Exceptions for Instructors eTool. From the announcement,
“The Fair Use Evaluator is an online tool that can help users understand how to determine if the use of a protected work is a “fair use.” It helps users collect, organize, and document the information they may need to support a fair use claim, and provides a time-stamped PDF document for the users’ records.”
“The Exceptions for Instructors eTool guides users through the educational exceptions in U.S. copyright law, helping to explain and clarify rights and responsibilities for the performance and display of copyrighted content in traditional, distance and blended educational models.”
In addition to these two new tools, check out the existing Section 108 Spinner, which “help[s] you determine whether or not a particular reproduction is covered by [Section 108] exemption” that “allows libraries & archives, under certain circumstances, to make reproductions of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright holder.”
All three tools are licensed CC BY NC-SA.Comments Off
If you are in New York on Thursday this week, you are invited to a panel I’ve helped organize with our friends at Eyebeam on fair use and creators. I’ll also be moderating the panel and giving a brief primer on fair use:
This Thursday, July 9, 6–8PM at Eyebeam, there will be a panel discussion on fair-use and appropriation within activist and creative practice moderated by Creative Commons product manager and Eyebeam research associate Fred Benenson; artist/curator Mark Tribe, audio-visual remix artist Jonny Wilson (Eclectic Method), Postmasters gallery director Magdalena Sawon, and Eyebeam resident Jon Cohrs.
Last week a U.S. district court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, a book based on the idea of J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caufield character as a 76 year old man. Strong reactions to the ruling have come from many across the legal, literary and technology fields, for example Mike Madison, Jim Brown, and Mike Masnick.
My Media Musings delivers the bottom line, easily understood by all:
Seeing judges ban books is never a good thing. Seeing a judge ban a book for such flimsy reasons as this is downright frightening. If her ruling stands, expect to see a long line of similar suits in the near future.
Of course one way to take an affirmative stance for reasonable copyright (still strongly trending toward increasing unreasonableness, as evinced by the above) is to grant permission in advance for some uses of your work with a CC license or all uses with the CC0 waiver. Another is to support our work financially and spread the word.10 Comments »
This post is written and translated by Paul Keller of CC Netherlands, first posted in Dutch on the CC Netherlands blog earlier today. Regarding one of the quotes below, to be clear, note CC licenses do not override fair use.
Adam Curry wins again!
by Paul Keller
In 2006 Adam Curry initiated and won the first ever lawsuit centering around the use of a Creative Commons licensed work (English). Back then the Dutch gossip-mag ‘weekend’ had published photos from Curry’s flickr account without asking Curry for permission and the Amsterdam court of first instance decided that this use was explicitly prohibited by the non-commercial condition of the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license that Curry uses for his Flickr pictures.
One would assume that other gossip-mags would learn from this and refrain from using photos from Adam’s Flickr stream, but exactly that happened 2 weeks ago when ‘Privé‘ used another picture to illustrate an article without Adam permission. As in the previous case Adam immediately reacted, this time by demanding that the publisher of Privé pay him a compensation for the unauthorized use or he would take them to court. Back then Adam wrote:
Instead of taking them directly to court I added twist this time, and gave them the option of paying 5000 euros directly to the War Child Foundation and my legal costs. Failure to comply by June 2nd and I will take them to court. It’s national news, lead story on the 6:30 news and all that good stuff :)
According to a public response from the magazine’s editor, they will ‘see me in court’ as they believe they have ‘fair use’ rights because of the picture’s ‘news value’. Pretty funny coming from a gossip rag.
While the deadline set by Curry passed without an official reaction from Privé it turns out that the defiant reaction form the magazines editor was not worth the paper it was printed on. Today Adam received a mail from from his lawyers indicating that Privé has settled along the terms provided by Curry in order to avoid the court hearing that was scheduled for the 23rd of June [translation from Dutch original by Creative Commons Netherlands]:
the conflict between Telegraaf Tijdschriften Groep (“TTG”), the publishers of among others Privé and yourself has been settled in your favor.
TTG wil pay you an amount of compensation and TTG has signed a declaration (backed up by a penalty) that in the future they will no more infringe on copyrights held by Adam Curry in photos published by him on www.flickr.com. You will donate the compensation received to Warchild and STOP AIDS NOW!.
Given the above, the court hearing scheduled for the 23rd of july will not take place.
Creative Commons congratulates Adam Curry with this victory that once again illustrates that when necessary the Creative Commons licenses offer enough legal protection against unauthorized used of the licensed works. Thanks again Adam!3 Comments »