Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dangers of no dates

Image from Morguefiles

 It has come to my attention this evening that a poster about copyright & fair use which was created around the early 2000's has been found by someone with good intentions and a good reputation. They have blogged about it, which has then led to the post being retweeted too many times to count.

The problem with this poster is that the information is outdated and incorrect. Copyright & fair use has changed in the last 10 years or so (as has the media it covers - look very closely at the poster). The second problem with this poster is that there is also no publication date on it, I only know it was published in the early 2000's as I discovered it online then & thought it was amazing. But it isn't now.  The third problem is that it is being tweeted as being the best thing since sliced bread. It will be quickly laminated and placed on walls in staff rooms, libraries and classrooms by the end of the week. And it is not correct. People will be basing decisions on outdated and incorrect information.

Carrie Russell of the ALA  said "Fair use cannot be reduced to a checklist. Fair use requires that people think." It also requires that people learn what it is, they learn how they can use it in their schools and they teach it - properly. They need to know that students are also creators, that copyrights also apply to them and their creations. Teachers are not slow learners, they want short cuts, they want a list, they want to be able to use stuff in their classroom without someone saying "you can't do that". They need to know what they can do, and they can do a lot more than this poster says they can. They should also know about creative commons.

Where to start? Read a book called "Copyright Clarity" from Media Education. They also have a number of educational resources you can use to teach about it in your school.

Do your own reading and create understandings about it. Due to my obsessive interest in this, I created a Netvibes page which is a collection of sources organised into different sections which may be helpful for you to learn as much as you can using original, updated and accurate resources. It will certainly save you time if you want to check something. Copyright, Creative Commons, & fair use.

And please, be aware of the dangers of retweeting or blogging about something that you have not checked properly. It can lead to over zealous and incorrect lamination ....


John Royce said...

Good post, Dianne!

There's a further complication. There IS a later version of this chart available at which makes account of the TEACH Act. On this page, you'll find links to the original chart "From October 2002" and to the later chart "Updated from October 2002" - but no indication as to how recent this update was.

Keep thinking, keep searching, as you so rightly say. Trouble is, it's too common for searchers to stop searching when they find information they like and agree with.


Dianne said...

Thanks John,

The Copyright field is full of misunderstandings especially with Fair Use in schools.

Sometimes everything gets broken down into the tiniest details which don't help either.

We need to help to educate about the creators rights, use creative commons more and really get a grasp of what fair use means. The big corporations have really tried to bag copyright to ensure no one can recreate from original creations, and this is totally against what the copyright laws we set up for.

It is good to know there is an updated version of the current poster doing the rounds, and I will look at it. Again dates are important for people to take anything seriously - the CRAP test - Currency, Reliability, Authority & Purpose. This poster fails on the first point.

Critical thinking is paramount to the resources we choose to share with each other!

Dianne said...

Just checked it out - the poster still has incorrect information in the "what you can do" column. It is too specific and based on guidelines which were created by publishers just as guidelines, not law (although I do believe Australia has adopted these restrictions as law) when people wanted specific information.

Fair Use is much, much broader, and allows so much more. I encourage everyone to take some time to research and learn.