This week, I was made to see a different set of problems concerning copyright law that my fellow students wrote about. One student felt it was imporant to have some type of mandatory copyright seminar for students, teachers, and administration. I thought it was a good idea, but unrealistic. Schools are tight on money, so I did not see why a school would spend money on a seminar when the library media specialist is already trained. I can hear it now, "Why would we spend money on a seminar when we can just ask you about copyright?" I voiced my concern to the student on the discussion page. He responded by telling me that a teacher who is not educated on the basics would not ask the librarian because a question would never have come to them. If they do not know that they are doing something illegal, then they do not know to ask. I never looked at it from that angle. However, I still think it would be difficult to convince a school to spend the money.
Another student voiced her concern about how to approach a peer if he is breaking copyright law. Prior to this comment, I was only nervous about being correct in a copyright situation with another teacher. I had not thought about the approach. After making sure I was absolutely right, and that the situation could not be avoided any other way, I would prepare my words extremely carefully. When the time comes, I will seek advice from my fellow librarians at other schools.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
This week I had the pleasure to visit my public library for the entire day. I shadowed the teen librarian. She told me her "copyright story" (to put it in her words). She did a teen program that involved "her kids" (her words again) acting out scenes from a book. They put the resulting product on YouTube, but the site banned the video. This was because they used the instrumental part of a song by the band Sixpence None the Richer. She contested this banning with YouTube because she believed that she was within the guidelines of the "fair use" policy. The instrumental part of the song (used for approximately ten seconds in the video) was used for a non-profit and educational purpose. As a result, YouTube put their video back online, but forwarded the matter to Warner Bros. Company to decide if they would sue her or not. It has been almost a year and she has not heard anything else about it. She said that copyright infringement is certainly a difficult matter, but experience and advice from her peers has helped her make her decisions.