In the faculty retreat we will discuss academic honesty and ethical source use. Often, we think about this primarily in regard to written work. With digital texts, and within more “traditional” texts, students also frequently use a range of media: images, audio, video, etc. It’s important that students have an understanding of how to ethically incorporate these materials as well – where attribution frequently differs and even the vocabulary is different. We talk copyright violations as opposed to plagiarism.
A note about copyright, one Hannah Lee was always sure to bring our attention to in the Student Multimedia and Design Center: copyright is intended “to promote creativity, innovation, and the spread of knowledge” (Article 1 Section 8, US Constitution). It should balance the rights of owners with users. This has changed over the last several decades, with copyright lasting longer and longer and failing to adapt and transform in the wake of new forms of knowledge and knowledge production. Still, it’s useful to think about the goals of licensing work when thinking about how writers might use it.
Below are resources that can serve as references or discussion points on intellectual property and copyright, particularly online. General resources are those I think are especially useful for both faculty and students (provide overviews, key terminology, useful breakdowns). Faculty-specific resources get more in-depth with the intricacies of these conversations; I have provided links to direct, primary resources as well as secondary scholarship. Student-specific resources talk more about writing and citation practices.
I’d particularly recommend taking a look at Creative Commons – students can license their own work through CC as well as search for open access and CC-licensed resources through Creative Commons’ databases and google.
- Creative Commons: Alternative copyright system. Includes a range of licensing options for protecting, monetizing, sharing, and deriving from CC-licensed works.
- Multimedia Literacy Guide: This section of UD’s Student Multimedia and Design Center’s research guide offers not only resources on producing multimodal work, but handouts and suggested readings on copyright and fair use.
- Eric Faden, “A Fair(y) Use Tale”: Video source explaining fair use using clips from various Disney films. Video is licensed under Creative Commons. You can also reference the transcript.
- The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education: Published by the Center for Media and Social Impact and coordinated through Temple University, American University, and American University Washington College of Law. Offers a more detailed overview but also talks specifically about educators’ source use and potential teaching practices.
- Organization of Transformative Works: The OTW has worked extensively for the legal advocacy of fair use on the internet, especially in relationship to noncommercial remix. This is one place to read primary legal documents relating to intellectual property and copyright, such as this letter to Congress detailing the values and assumptions at stake.
- Copyright Office: Always consider going straight to the source. You can also view their recent initiatives summary.
- Lawrence Lessig, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy: Lessig has been a prominent voice in copyright reform. Remix, available for free under its Creative Commons license, details what’s at stake in reformers’ (and many creators’) push for copyright change.
- Steve Westbrook, Ed, Composition and Copyright: Perspectives on Teaching, Text-Making, and Fair Use: From the back cover, “Drawing on connections between legal developments, new media technologies, and educational practice, Composition and Copyright examines how copyright law is currently influencing processes of teaching and writing within the university, particularly in the dynamic contexts of increasing digital literacy, new media, and Internet writing.” Also available at the Morris Library, KF3020 .C66 2009.
- Martine Courant Rife, Shaun Slattery, and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, eds.Copy(write): Intellectual Property in the Writing Classroom: Available at link in free .pdf and epub format. Edited anthology around questions of intellectual property, copyright, plagiarism, and more. Also available in the Morris Library, KF3030.1 .C67 2011.
Multimedia Creative Commons-Licensed Sources:
- CC-Search: Broad search feature to find resources under different CC licenses.
- Creative Commons Music Communities – Links to several hosting pages to find CC-licensed music to use potentially in your work.
- Free Stock Images: Viralsweep.com has assembled a list of twenty websites that offer wide usage on images. Note that the author points out to do your own research to ensure the license still allows for the use you have in mind.
Looking for more?
Teaching Copyright has an extensive list of further resources, including books, articles, organizations, podcasts, videos, FAQs, quizzes, worksheets, and more.