November 2008


  1. Thrilled to get this comment from Renee Hobbs, one of the creators of the Fair Use Code. This document is a light in the New Media fog. I like the idea of “re-purposing” as a means test. Will report back on what my students think and how it influences their thinking and actual work.
  2. Renee Hobbs Says:
    November 14, 2008 at 4:29 am e

    You ask if your use of an excerpt from the report is a fair use. You ask: Who decides?

    When you read the report, you’ll discover that educators (yes, us) decide whether a particular use is a fair use. We don’t need to rely on lawyers to interpret for us.

    My judgment, as one of the creators of the Code: your use of this excerpt is fair use, because you are re-purposing some paragraphs as a means to attract attention to the Code of Best Practices from among your readers.

    By attracting new readers to the Code, your blog adds value to the report. Use fair use with confidence– and get out of copyright confusion by reading the Code!

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Everybody head on over to the new Nieman Lab blog. Here’s what they’re up to: 

About the Lab

The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age.

The Internet has brought forth an unprecedented flowering of news and information. But it has also destabilized the old business models that have supported quality journalism for decades. Good journalists across the country are losing their jobs or adjusting to a radically new news environment online. We want to highlight attempts at innovation and figure out what makes them succeed or fail. We want to find good ideas for others to steal. We want to help reporters and editors adjust to their online labors; we want to help traditional news organizations find a way to survive; we want to help the new crop of startups that will complement — or supplant — them.

We are fundamentally optimistic.

http://www.niemanlab.org/about/

Here’s a great post and video of former Washington Post Editor Len Downie’s recent talk:

http://www.niemanlab.org/2008/11/len-downie-online-standards-should-match-print-standards/

Len Downie: Online standards should match print standards

Leonard Downie, Jr., the longtime executive editor of The Washington Post, spoke at the Nieman Foundation’s 70th Anniversary Convocation Weekend Saturday here in Cambridge. Here’s the 23-minute video, the first of several from the weekend.

Magical read by one of the all-time great Chicago newsies who wrote literature in a hurry and then slowed down a bit to write this lovely book.

(All copy below has been shamelessly stolen from John Jeter’s blog for the sole purpose of shamelessly plugging his beautiful book.)

http://theplunderroom.blogspot.com/

I haven’t yet read this report out from the Center for Social Media but assume after I have it will provide an important launching pad for a class discussion….

Also…is it acceptable use to quote several graphs and the link from another site’s post or is this too much? Who decides?

********************************************************

WHAT THIS IS

 

This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities.

This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.

http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/publications/code_for_media_literacy_education/

News Bloggers Code of Ethics Facebook group
http://usc.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16833614524
 
     As my students are creating, designing and posting on their class blogs, all kinds of questions have come up that I thought I knew how to answer but am not sure anymore. 
     *How much copy can you take from another blogger’s post (if you also include the link and attribution!!) before it’s stealing? Do print media rules apply?
     *One student found an image of the American flag. He found that three other bloggers used it, edited it, then created their own copyright for it. What’s up with that, he wondered? Can they do that? Don’t they have to credit the original photographer? WAS there an original photographer? Is it a photo or a photo illustration? How does HE credit it on his blog now? He, too, edited it and thus altered the possibly original image.
     *If you hyperlink an article, study, report within your blog or website post, does that count as attribution? What if the link breaks? Do you have to mention the name, date, origin of the study or can you simply hyperlink a phrase like “a recent study” suggests….?
     As an old media hound, I abhor a hyperlinked word or phrase as the sole form of attribution. I want to see the citation right there in print, which is the model I require for my students. They think I’m nuts. IT’S THERE, they said. Trust the link, they say. Except when you can’t, they say.
     *How do you ethically preserve information (I know, I know…CONTENT) if the link is broken, one student wondered. YouTube links, for example. What if it’s discontinued or vanished? He said he downloads it to save it and then fumbles about with an attribution like “User Snoop Dogg” with a date.
Is that fair? He’s attributing as best as he can.
     Obviously I haven’t figure out how to hyperlink yet or I’d have done it throughout this post.  One thing at a time.

WOULD YOU SIGN THIS?

When you post User Content to the Site, you authorize and direct us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary in order to facilitate the posting and storage of the User Content on the Site. By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. The Company does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.

That’s what I asked my students to do. Sign the “user agreement” I said was required for me to accept and grade their work for our NMC 301: Writing for the Professional Media class. A handful signed. Some balked. Others wanted to discuss it.

We read it over line by line. Do you understand, I said, that this gives me

an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

That great moment in teaching when they’re quiet because they’re thinking, not sleeping.

No, they said. You can’t have that. That’s not fair, they said. That means you can take anything and make anything out of it and sell it, transform it, place it in an unflattering light, have your way with it and we have no recourse, right?

Yup, I said.

Well no way, they said.

Well yes way, I said. How many of you have a Facebook account?

All hands up. Mine included.

That means you’ve already given Facebook, known as “The Company” …..

….an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

Newsflash:

If you have a Facebook account, you’ve signed their user agreement. If you signed their user agreement, that is only one paragraph that you’ve agreed to. I did it. I checked the box. Drank the Kool-Aid. Bit the hook. Didn’t even read the thing. I wanted me some Facebook!

A wise colleague, a lawyer named Ron Seymour, showed me the Facebook User Agreement. Appalled, ashamed, I took it to my students.

Here it is: http://www.facebook.com/terms.php

And, of course, I’m about to start a Facebook Group about it!!