Thoughts on copyright

So here’s a video in which I prattle on about copyright and fair use. I thought about opening with a mashup of No Expectations chords and Houses of the Holy lyrics, but I realized that a) I can’t sing and play at the same time, and b) I can’t sing. So much for that idea.

Coincidentally, I ran a copyright workshop for faculty Friday afternoon, using The Copyright Card Game. A few of us have been working on adapting the UK version, from Chris Morrison and Jane Secker of UK Copyright Literacy, for the US audience. We can do this because they were nice enough to release their game under a Creative Commons license. I’m interested in any input on the adaptation I can get. If anyone wants to help us work out how to incorporate the TEACH Act into it, I especially welcome the help. If anyone wants to make use of what we’ve done, that’s what it’s there for.

Addendum

In @jennymackness post on Copyright, the Public Domain, and the Commons, she brings up issues of sharing and the so-called sharing economy. Some creative professionals are taken aback by sharing, not that anyone suggests that they have to share. The term sharing economy is often just a smiley face slapped on the exploitation of people in need. I am certainly not a great example of a sharer, certainly not as good as I ought to be. But I make things and write things in the course of doing my job, and maybe other people are able to make use of these things. I get paid to do my job, so it’s no loss to me to share things I’ve made in the course of my work. Maybe there is some way to monetize those things, but that would be more work, and more importantly, work I don’t want to do. There are many like me in education, who produce artifacts in the course of their paid work which may be useful to others. If we share our work, and others are able to make use of it, we gain recognition in our communities. We may gain a sense of satisfaction that we’ve done something important and valuable for our communities. For those intangibles to meaningful, however, we need to have stable jobs that pay living wages. It’s a sharing economy that rises not from desperation, but a lack thereof.

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