Sunday, February 3, 2008

Videosharing Part 4 - Thinking about Fair Use

One issue I wanted to know more about was whether or not videosharing infringed on copyright laws. YouTube’s "Help Center" provides answers to questions about copyright and fair use. These guidelines mainly cover the information and responsibilities for those who wish to upload videos to the site. Teachers who intend to use YouTube with their students for displaying their videos should address these guidelines. YouTube emphasizes “original creation” as a way of ensuring that video makers will not violate copyright infringement.

The article “Recut, Reframe, Recycle” found at The Center for Social Media web site ( discusses the issues surrounding copyrighted content making its way into student-made videos. Although Fair Use permits new makers to use copyrighted material without asking permission, in order to make “transformative” material, there may be some hurdles lurking in the future. “Participatory media culture” is at risk, because large content holders may succeed in having copyrighted material removed from shared-video sites.

However, it is worth noting that at this time, YouTube has partnership deals with content providers such as CBS, BBC, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, NBA, and The Sundance Channel.

As for the guidelines for showing videos in the classroom, Michael Wesch, in Presentation: YouTube in/on/of/for the Classroom, says that educators’ intentions behind using videos found on YouTube usually fall within the guidelines of Fair Use; “if it is for commentary, criticism, parody, or education, chances are it is fair use”. Wesch also provides a linked checklist for Fair Use which can help educators determine whether or not a video is appropriate for classroom use.

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