Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Teaching Schools to Act in the Corporate Interest

I noticed a fellow named Gary Becker is speaking at FETC on copyright. Since he's been consulting with schools on the issue since 1975, I figured he must be one of the people responsible for schools and teachers being so misinformed on the issue.


It is not so much that this stuff is factually incorrect, but it is only one side of the story, and it is not the teacher's side. It is like having a union convention where corporate lawyers give all the presentations on labor law.

This FAQ, at least, indicates an extremely narrow interpretation of fair use. Also, the combination of instructional and non-instructional use cases is confusing, I think. The instructional uses are complicated enough and munging in non-instructional ones as well will only lead to a more conservative impression of the law.

1 comment:

Gnuosphere said...

From Becker's site:

"Copyright doesn't protect ideas, but does protect the format in which the idea is expressed. [...] Changing formats is creating a derivative work in another form."

US Copyright Office (emphasis mine):

"To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a "new work" or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes. The new material must be original and copyrightable in itself. Titles, short phrases, and format, for example, are not copyrightable."