Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Resources for legal moviemaking in the educational setting

I split this blog entry into two. Here you will find links to resources and documents pertaining to the rights of teachers and students vis-a-vis creating multimedia projects.

The most directly useful documents are asterisked (**).

Web sites containing royalty-free and public-domain music and sounds:

  • Jamendo - Free and royalty-free music under the Creative Commons License (except for anything labelled "NoDerivs"). Credit original sources.
  • The Freesound Project - Free and royalty-free sound effects and music loops under the Creative Commons License. Credit original sources.
  • Public Domain Information Project - Royalty free and public domain music for purchase.
  • Public Domain Music - MIDIs of public domain music, usable with the permission of the site owner (see his FAQ).
  • MusOpen - Unrestricted recordings of public-domain classical music.
  • Public Domain 4U - Unrestricted recordings of public-domain jazz music.

Copyright documents and guides:

  1. Copyright Act of 1976 on Fair Use - Primary Source (sections 107-118)
  2. Copyright Act of 1976 on Fair Use - Introduction
  3. ** Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia (by the Consortium of College and University Media Centers) - This is the most important in this case.
  4. TEACH Act of 2002 - Summary by US Copyright Office
  5. TEACH Act of 2002 - Amended Sections 110(2) and 112
  6. ** TEACH Act of 2002 - Guide by the University of Texas System
  7. ** Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians - Circular 21 by US Copyright Office (contains the "Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying in Not-for-Profit Educational Institutions" by the Ad Hoc Committee of Educational Institutions and Organizations on Copyright Law Revision, the Authors League of America, Inc., and the Association of American Publishers, Inc.)

Online misinformation:

  1. Too strict: The first link in a Google search for "copyright" and "teachers" points to A Teacher's Guide to Fair Use and Copyright. While decent, this document incorrectly applies the so-called "Spontaneity Test" to all materials whatsoever, including use of audio and video in projects. For reference, here is the text from the "Agreement on Guideliness for Classroom Copying" cited above:

    (i) The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual teacher, and
    (ii) The inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.
    However, this rule does not apply to audio and multimedia material. It explicitly states in the same document:

    As stated above, the agreement refers only to copying from books and periodicals, and it is not intended to apply to musical or audiovisual works.
  2. Too lenient: Several guides (Google "fair use" and "favor" and "against") take a creative approach to establishing the legitimacy of copying practices. They use scales--not unlike a certain Knight of the Round Table. According to Cornell's copyright policy document, "Where the factors favoring 'fair use' outnumber the factors weighing against a finding of "fair use," reliance on the fair use exception is justified." Technically I would be in line with Cornell's policy if I sold Xeroxed copies of a textbook at profit, so long as I had enough "checkmarks" on the "fair use" side of the worksheet. Now there's a felicific calculus for you.
Remaining question(s):

I can't seem to find an unambiguous and authoritative answer on whether teachers and/or students have the right to circumvent copy protection technology on DVDs for instructional purposes.

1 comment:

Matt of CG said...

Man, Oh man...All of this data mining of yours just screams 'due diligence.' Holy crap, I dream way too much to trouble myself with such things. Your a man apart. And, if you ever had any doubts that you weren't meant to live as an academic, then look at this post. He he he.