Copyright. Okay?

The Media Education Lab at Temple University has produced a pamphlet regarding copyright entitled Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. Two weeks ago at the GCT Reload, this was the topic of “Conquering Copyright Confusion” presented by Kristin Hokanson. I was astonished to learn that, unlike what I grew up thinking, “copyright is not an owner’s right!” According to Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the purpose of copyright is:

To promote creativity, innovation and the spread of knowledge

Did any of you from the States know this?

Kristin began by having us consider how kids use media both inside AND outside of school. Think about that for a moment, and I’m certain most of you will realize there IS a difference, especially those of you with children or those of you who teach. 

The Doctrine of Fair Use, which forms the basis of the Code of Best Practices, is based on Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, an explanation of which follows in video produced by the Media Ed Lab:

You can learn more about the Code of Best Practices at:

In addition, you can listen to a lively, entertaining and informative discussion, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, with Lawrence Lessig, Shepard Fairey, and Steven Johnson which took place last month at the New York Public Library.


FYI Shepard Fairey is the street artist who created this image of Barack Obama, and around which a brouhaha emerged over copyright.

On the Copyright Confusion wikispaces pages you can try your hand at analyzing the use of the Obama poster using the Fair Use Reasoning Tool and see what conclusion you come to.


2 thoughts on “Copyright. Okay?

  1. synapsesensations Post author

    HI Kristin,

    Thanks for your comment! I found your presentation at the GCT Reload to be fascinating. Not only did I learn much new information about copyright and fair use, but that info has now been shared with my faculty. What was interesting is that none of the librarians commented on it to me, though a language teacher asked if we could have a meeting to talk about the issues. We are now on two weeks of vacation, so the discussion will have to wait till April.

    I am looking forward to sharing the ideas with my students.

    Just finished exploring your blog and wiki. You have an incredible wealth of information posted, and I look forward to returning to read more!

    Also smiled because my brother-in-law lives in Westchester, PA, and we take the King of Prussia exit to visit.


  2. Kristin Hokanson

    Hey Laurie
    Thanks for sharing all of the links and resources from the media lab. Hope you come join the wiki and continue the conversation. The more we think critically about our right to fair use and exercising that right, the more I think folks are going to think about copyright and the implications of simply following the traditional “guidelines”- Glad my presentation made an impact 🙂 Keep sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s