Are we setting a good example of Copyright and the World Wide Web in our online classes?
Copyright issues in education have always been a tenuous topic. What is fair use? If this isn’t confusing enough, now let’s add the World Wide Web to the mix and we have a real grey area the size of Texas. It is important that we be good stewards of all laws regarding copyright, whether it is text, images, video or audio.
I am as guilty as the next person on right clicking an image, or cutting, copying and pasting information to save a handy item to my desktop to refer to it at a later date, but when it comes to giving credit to ideas and quotes I’m toast! I have to go back into the web and research the topic, if I can remember the search term to find the information again, and look further into the site to see how to obtain permission to use the image or text. I am starting to use OneNote from Microsoft as a virtual notebook to keep small items for future use. The beauty of OneNote is that is captures the web addresses as a hyperlink if I am clipping a website. Now, when I need to use the information in a class or paper, I can go back to the site and find out if there is a disclaimer for use of the material copied, or a point of contact to gain permission for the information that I want to use. If you are restrained by time or have not received permission to use the information from a web source, then you may want to use the hyperlink feature within your course to send your viewer directly to the source of the information. Selecting the option to open a link in a new window is another way to make it obvious to your students that this information is being provided by an outside source. Make sure to check your active links for accuracy, linking to a specific blog can be problematic for a long term solution. Also, information from the web needs citations like any other borrowed source to include images, video or audio.
US Copyright Officehttp://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html