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Addressing Two Common Copyright Misunderstandings

Very long time followers of my weblog know that over time I’ve fought many many many battles with individuals who suppose it is okay to republish my weblog posts of their entirety with out permission. I have been doing this for therefore lengthy that at instances I really feel like I am preaching to the choir.  Then at different instances I really feel like I am yelling right into a black gap whereas concurrently ramming my head right into a wall. Two incidents this week have introduced these emotions roiling to the highest. Fairly than simply vent, I’ll attempt to flip these into instructing experiences by sharing them right here on Free Expertise for Lecturers. 

Incident #1: A Plea for Assist

On Monday I received the next electronic mail from a reader who was searching for my help. 


The media specialist at my faculty feels that it’s OK to make use of photographs which have watermarks on them in her faculty information movies beneath the academic honest use copyright tips as a result of they don’t seem to be getting used to make a revenue nor are the pictures being distorted or modified.
Nevermind the truth that they need to be utilizing photographs from websites which have copyright free photographs for academic use, is she appropriate in her reasoning that she will be able to use ANY image, together with ones with watermarks, beneath the academic honest use copyright tips?

Getting this message was worrying as a result of a “media specialist” ought to have a significantly better understanding of copyright and honest use than was is portrayed within the message above. A fast have a look at Stanford College Library’s Measuring Honest Use ought to make it clear to the media specialist in query is totally improper in her understanding of honest use. Briefly, until the pictures the individual is utilizing are so distinctive that there’s nothing else like them and he or she’s utilizing them in a critique or as an instructive instance (for instance, explaining a facet of a Picasso portray) that is not honest use. 

Merely saying “I am not making a revenue from it” doesn’t suggest it is a honest use. The use has to additionally not diminish the artist’s alternative to earn an revenue from his/her work. While you use a copyrighted work with permission and with out paying a royalty, you’ve got diminished the artist’s revenue potential. This is identical purpose why you’ll be able to’t purchase one copy of a textbook then make 100 photocopies of it and say “properly I am not making a living from it.” Houston ISD was hit with a $9.2 million advantageous after attempting to make use of that very logic to justify photocopying copyrighted works (they finally settled for a $7.eight million judgement). 

Incident #2: It Says Free

The second copyright incident this week is the one that actually received beneath my pores and skin. There is a web site that was copying and pasting my weblog posts and ever so barely altering a phrase or to make it seem as if it was their authentic work. After I caught them and referred to as them out on Twitter the primary protection, in a now deleted Tweet, was “I paid somebody on Fiver to set it up, it wasn’t imagined to be like that.” To which I replied, “It was executed improper so repair it!” The second Tweet I received from the offender was this one which exhibits an entire lack of know-how of how copyright and the Web works. 

For many who cannot see the embedded Tweet, that is the textual content of it: “Nicely no drawback however you want to cease saying I stole it as a result of it was free to make use of out of your web site free tech instructing in order that’s not stealing or utilizing and I’ll get them take away it no drawback”

Simply because you’ll be able to learn one thing totally free on the Web even whether it is on weblog referred to as Free Expertise for Lecturers (a title that has been a blessing and curse over time) doesn’t suggest you are able to do no matter you need with it. 

Sources to assist your colleagues perceive copyright.

I’ve shared all of those at varied instances up to now. They’re nonetheless good so have a look. 

Copyright for Lecturers was a free webinar that Dr. Beth Holland and I hosted just a few years in the past. We addressed a slew of copyright questions and eventualities throughout presentation. You may watch the recording right here. 
If in case you have a Common Craft subscription (disclosure, I’ve an in-kind relationship with them), you’ve gotten entry to some glorious video explanations of copyright, artistic commons, and honest use. 
Just a few years in the past the Crash Course YouTube channel did a whole course about mental property. The third section within the course was about honest use. You may watch that section right here. 

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