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!


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?




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.


News Bloggers Code of Ethics Facebook group
     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.