DiigoNotes - New copyright law affects educators

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    • New copyright law affects educators


      Higher-ed film students get exemption; K-12, other studies left out

      By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor

    • increasing digital literacy and student skills is a responsibility educators can’t afford to brush off.
    • The change comes as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. copyright law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent digital rights management (DRM) that controls access to copyrighted works. The Copyright Office, which meets to discuss exemption proceedings every three years, oversees management of the DMCA.
    • Renee Hobbs, professor of communication at the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, along with a small handful of other higher ed educators, formally petitioned the Copyright Office in 2009 to receive an exemption that would allow educators and students to legally “rip” excerpts of copy-protected movie DVDs for comment and criticism.
    • this change will help teachers who are using “remixing” (using excerpts from copyrighted materials, such as image, video, and sound to create something new) and other instructional uses of copyrighted materials to promote language and literacy skills that build critical thinking and communication skills.
    • students may use excerpts from recent and historical movies that feature an end-of-the-world theme and then write a voiceover that comments on how cultural fears are embodied in popular movies.
    • “Remix videos are not ‘highbrow’ and are easily accessible to the general public,” Hobbs said. “They can be used to question some of the assumptions of contemporary culture and offer a critical perspective.”
    • before the new ruling, the DMCA deemed it illegal to rip video by bypassing the copy-protect code on a movie DVD using easily available software like Handbrake
    • Media literacy educators depend on the use of copyrighted materials–we can’t do our job without using them. Educators want to be lawful, and we didn’t want to bypass encryption when it wasn’t legal to do so.”
    • Hobbs said she will feel more confident about requiring her students to use screen capture tools like Jing  to develop writing and speaking skills.
    • not all rulings are created equal.
    • Students can rip movie excerpts legally, but only if they are film/media studies majors–meaning students in subjects like history and sociology still won’t have the exemption. K-12 student and teachers are still also at a disadvantage.
    • The Copyright Office deemed K-12 teachers and students ineligible for exemption, and indicated that they should instead use only screen captures of a film, because K-12 doesn’t need access to visually high-quality clips.
    • “Even though the film industry acknowledges the legal rights of educators and students to create film clip compilations, they pointed out that it doesn’t have to be easy.”
    • Hobbs explained that screen capture tools used by many K-12 schools, such as Jing or Camtasia, don’t require bypassing the DVD’s encryption code. That encryption code is known as Content Scramble System or CSS, and is employed on almost all commercially available DVDs in order to protect DRM.


      “The Copyright Office wanted to limit the exemption only to those groups, who could prove a reasonable harm, and who could demonstrate that bypassing CSS encryption is the only way to accomplish fair use purposes,


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