Saturday, October 25, 2008

Teaching copyright

Getting educated on copyrights. It is important for librarians and educators to know about copyright and to find a way to teach it to the students so they internalize the information, so I put together a few resources for you to use.

Created by the University of St. Francis, this is a helpful website for teachers to understand more about copyright information and what they need to teach their students.

This website is a great tool to give middle school students a chance to research and practice using copyright information.

This is a good website for elementary students to discuss copyright information with them.

This is another good site to share with elementary students to learn about copyright information. Very informative.

Copyright - can I use it?

We need to develop our copyright skills to understand what we can and can't use. It is very easy to make the mistake of using someone else's words without having permission or properly giving credit to the author.

Copyright laws do not cover everything. The following are categories of things not protected:

- Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, (but written or recorded descriptions, explanations, or illustrations of such things are protected copyright);
- Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; mere listings of ingredients or contents (but some titles and words might be protected under trademark law if their use is associated with a particular product or service);
- Works that are not fixed in a tangible form of expression, such as an improvised speech or performance that is not written down or otherwise recorded;
- Works consisting entirely of information that is commonly available and contains no originality (for example, standard calendars, standard measures and rulers, lists or tables compiled from public documents or other common sources); and
- Works by the US government.

This is a link to the University of Arkansas for medical science that was created by a librarian, Jan Hart. It is very educational.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reflecting on Copyright

In today's technological world, information is just a copy and paste away for millions of computer users. We have lost the definition of copyright as we can download music, art, movies and more on our personal computers. We need to be reminded of the copyright laws and be respectful of them as the consequences can be quite severe. Copyright is a form of protection for people who are authors of orignal work. The Copyright Act of 1976 provides the basic foundation for the current copyright law. It protects the rights of those who author orginal works such as literary, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. This means that, and other shareware websites are illegally allowing people to download items that are protected by the copyright laws. So, where do we draw the line on what is truly illegal and what is legal?

For teachers and media specials, this brochure is a great resource to help clear up the cloudy air surrounding copyrights:

For students and teachers checkout this interactive site that explains copyrights: