|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The problem with this poster is that the information is outdated and incorrect.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 People will be basing decisions on outdated and incorrect information.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 ....