News

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

Jane Park, November 11th, 2008

Today, the Center for Social Media at AU released a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy in Education—a guide for educators and students to the use of copyrighted materials in the classroom. This guide is aimed at clearing up many of the urban myths surrounding copyright, as many educators mistakenly believe that the use of copyrighted photographs in the classroom is illegal, when in fact, fair use allows such uses without teachers even having to obtain permissions.

From last week’s press release

“A variety of content and media is now available online, but fear and misinformation have kept teachers and students from using this valuable material, including portions of films, TV coverage, photos, songs, articles, and audio, in the classroom.

Now, thanks to a coordinated effort by the media literacy community, supported by experts at American University and Temple University, teachers and students have a step-by-step guide that simplifies the legalities of using copyrighted materials in an academic setting…

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education outlines five principles, each with limitations:

Educators can, under some circumstances:

      1. Make copies of newspaper articles, TV shows, and other copyrighted works, and use them and keep them for educational use.

      2. Create curriculum materials and scholarship with copyrighted materials embedded.

      3. Share, sell and distribute curriculum materials with copyrighted materials embedded.

Learners can, under some circumstances:

      4. Use copyrighted works in creating new material

      5. Distribute their works digitally if they meet the transformativeness standard.”

A great video accompanies the guide, if you want a quick and entertaining primer on the issues the code addresses.

This project was funded by one of our own long-term supporters, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

2 Responses to “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education”

  1. Marcia Schatz, LMS says:

    Hi,

    I am a high school librarian interested in using the guide and video mentioned in the next to last paragraph of the article “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education” on your site. Where can I locate them?
    Thank you so much for creating Creative Commons and publishing this code.

    TIA,
    Marcia Schatz

  2. Jane Park says:

    Hi Marcia,

    The link to the code was included in this post (if you click “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education” in the opening sentence), but here it is again:

    http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/publications/code_for_media_literacy_education/

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