Continuing copyright conversations

Doug Johnson continues what I think is our “collective thinking” about copyright as he writes here. As with all of us in the library field, we continue to ferret out what is right for our users. We want to give the correct information about copyright to students, teachers and administrators.  I appreciate Doug’s new suggestions – especially this one: “2. When there is doubt, err on the side of the user.

And over at the Neverending Search by Joyce Valenza, she has been continuing our collective thinking about
“fair use” as it relates to copyright. She shared that her colleague Renee Hobbs at Temple University wrote: “copyright is designed not only to protect the rights of owners, but also to preserve the ability of users to promote creativity and innovation.”

Joyce, similar to Doug, has lead us to this final “aha!” – different from what many of us thought we had previously learned – “the critical test for fairness in terms of educational use of media is transformative use.”

And Joyce then suggests further questions about defining what is “transformative use” such as: “What if my transformative is your nontransformative? What if your transformative is merely my junk? Or what if your transformative approach to my work looks like plagiarism? ”

Thanks to Doug and Joyce for promoting the conversation and discussion that will further the understanding for all of us. One thing is for sure – copyright laws are not keeping up with digital content. In my previous post, I pointed people to Lawrence Lessig’s presentation, which is on YouTube.


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