Week 9: Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright. This is a tricky topic indeed. Last semester, our department had a required talk on copyright, so I had heard about these issues and requirements before. This was mainly to discuss what we could and could not do as far as copying books or articles for use in the classroom. But even so, I still think this is a grey-area issue. I always wondered how course packs are legal. Are we allowed to play music in a classroom while students read or write? Authorship is a huge topic in academia; copyright reflects this. However, I’m intrigued by this because with the prevalence of certain programs like Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, authorship of a photo can become blurred. I mean, does anyone know who generates those hilarious memes, new ones appearing daily? Do they claim authorship of those? Balancing out the copyright issues in academia and the frequent photo sharing on Instagram or Pinterest—how does one do that?

On another note, I appreciated this module’s direct linking to the Creative Commons website and the encouragement to play around with the site in order to familiarize myself with the process of using an image. I didn’t get the challenge to do that at the talk that I went to. As a member of the English Department, I’m typically not required to use photos or videos or anything like that in my papers, though I’m sure I could if I wanted. However, I want to include images in my project for this class, and now, I confidently know where to find acceptable images to use and what needs to be done in order to use them. I found that helpful.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Week 9: Copyright and Creative Commons

  1. farberma

    As far as memes go, I think a lot of people would like to be known for creating a hilarious meme. But, I think most of the time a meme is made because who ever made it thinks it would be funny, and doesn’t think of getting authorship of it.
    I’m glad you found the creative commons video helpful.

  2. josheb76

    I definitely agree that copyright law is in a grey area. Even the VT site that the modules linked to tries to simplify the process into a flowchart, but also expresses that the process of determining if you can use something is not an easy decision. You’re definitely right about memes having blurred authorship, too. Especially with all of the remixes on them, it can be very difficult to figure out the source and who should be credited. Luckily, meme creators generally have more pressing concerns than making sure they correctly cite their content, like getting upvotes. Darn reposts…

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