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Copyright

April 8, 2011
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I find the subjects of copyright and fair use incredibly interesting, perhaps mostly because I never gave them any thought before starting library school. I labored under the impression that the internet was all “free” information. It never occurred to me that there were certain pictures I was not allowed to use for college PowerPoint presentations! I ran into an article from Library Journal titled, “‘Fair Use’ Confusion Hurting Academic Libraries.”. While incredibly brief, I believe it brings up a good point. I am not surprised that many librarians feel overwhelmed by copyright and are therefore overcautious when dealing with  patrons and copyrighted information. I was nervous just putting the Week 10 digital story together. This should be an encouragement to us to understand the copyright laws in our respective information environments. Understanding the law will place our minds at ease and further enable us to help our patrons. Since it can be complicated, perhaps it would be good to have one librarian have specialized knowledge in this area. There are good resources to help answer copyright questions, including books such as Copyright Essentials for Librarians and Educators by Kenneth D. Crews. — Allison Ortiz

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 3:28 pm

    I think copyright and fair use needs to be taught starting in elementary school. My 6th grade son put together a huge research report on Israel recently without regard to whether or not he could grab photos and other material off the web. The teacher told him that as long as he cited the sources, it’s all okay. But is that really true? I definitely need to read up on it a bit more and educate myself in this area. Thanks for the links!

  2. April 8, 2011 5:45 pm

    I used to work at the Museum Store at the Getty Museum and patrons would attempt to take pictures of our books, or pictures of the inside of books, or pictures of the pictures inside of books. I was a bit of a jerk because I usually stopped them from doing this because I believed it violated copyright law. Plus I didn’t think it was fair for the author’s and artists to do all the work and then for the patron to cheat them out of any royalties. I still don’t know if I was in the right about this and I think this proves your point about how little people know about copyright. Good job!

  3. Tara permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:45 pm

    I really appreciate this article – I often find copyright laws confusing myself, and I spend a lot of time worrying about whether I should use images or not. For this weeks assignment I spent a lot of time going over Creative Commons licensing, and making sure I was following all the rules correctly. When it is difficult for adults to figure out what is appropriate and what isn’t, it can only be that much more difficult for students.

  4. Allacyn Griffin-May permalink
    April 8, 2011 11:06 pm

    What an important topic especially these days. I think many of us thought the same thing that we could use stuff off the internet because it was there. I think the biggest problem is that the technology of the internet happened so fast that laws could not keep up. It could also be said that education and laws are still trying to keep up because with the internet we are getting new technologies everyday.

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