Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Steal This Preso (K12Online09) Now Live!

Friday, December 18th, 2009

My presentation for this year’s K12Online Conference, Steal This Preso: Copyrights, Fair Use, and Pirates in the Classroom!, is now live and viewable below.  I’ve also included links to my favorite royalty free media sites and additional resources below.

The Presentation

BlipTV direct link to download video file
use this to download to your iPod or if DotSub is blocked in your district

BlipTV audio file
use this if you want only the audio portion of the presentation (not as fun)

Additional Information

Barely Legal Radio Program (available as podcast)
I’ve learned tons about copyrights and fair use from listening to Joe Escalante’s show.  It’s entertaining as well as educational.   I’ve recommended this before and it’s never caught on with other educators but if you are really interested in this topic, do check it out.

Public Domain Slider
Helps you identify if a work is in the public domain.  Very cool.  However, note that most work is not in the public domain.

Code of Best Practices in Media Literacy Education
I found this thanks to Joyce Valenza’s K12 Online presentation.  It supports what I’m saying and expands upon it.

Lawrence Lessig’s Book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
There are ways that current copyright law has not kept up with digital technologies.  Lawrence Lessig explores this in his book.  I recorded a section of this preso in which I talked about this but ultimately deleted for time and clarity.

Additional Relevant Information from my blog

Royalty Free Resources

Please see these posts:

Royalty Free Images, Movies, and Music Part I

Royalty Free Images Part 2

Copyright for Teachers: Persistent Myths

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.  My thinking has been shaped by a number of sources, mostly notably the Barely Legal Radio Podcast.

Our Rights

Fair Use allows us to use portions of copyrighted work for educational purposes in our classrooms.  I’m of the belief that you can interpret copyright laws extremely liberally if the work you’re creating starts and ends within your classroom walls and is for academic purposes.  The problem is very little of the good work starts and ends within your classroom walls.  As soon as you put your work on the internet you’re creating copies of copyrighted work and redistributing.  As soon as you invite an audience you may be causing a public performance.

Myth #1:  It’s Not A Copyright Infringement If We Don’t Charge For It?

Scenario:  A school wants to put on an established play (e.g. Annie) and not pay royalties.

Facts (as I see them):  Many schools believe that if they put on a performance for free or solicit donations instead of charging a fee that obsolves them of any copyright responsibility.  Unfortunately, this is not so.

Playwrights and play publishers make money through royalties including royalties paid by schools and educational institutions.  It would be okay to do a scene from Annie as part of an acting class (there’s no audience and you’re using it for academic purposes) but to put on the musical and perform it for an audience requires a fee to be paid to the publisher.

Not charging a fee reduces the amount of damages to the publishing company but there are statutory damages (damages designed to punish you for breaking the law) that have to paid if you are caught.

Publishing companies do take into account the amount of money you are making from the performance of the show when they calculate royalty payments.  A free show costs less in terms of royalties than a paid show.

Myth #2:  I Can Use 30 Seconds and Its Not Breaking the Law

Scenario:  A teacher wants to use 30 seconds of copyrighted music in a podcast and believes that it’s okay to use just 30 seconds freely.

Facts (as I see them):  The 30 second rule is bunk.

Can you imagine a judge counting to thirty to determine whether a particular use of music violates the law?  Just 5 seconds of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition might be too much where 30 seconds of some other song may not even make a dent.  It’s about how and why you’re using the music that makes a difference.

Generally using copyrighted music as a soundtrack to a movie is illegal without permission.  The only way you can legally use the music if you are somehow making a comment on the song.  Its far better to use royalty free music in your podcast projects.

Please leave your comments and questions.

Update:  Links

Fair Use Is Your Friend

Fair Use and Education

Royalty Free Images Part 2

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Here’s a followup to my earlier list of royalty free images.

Additions by Janice Stearns…creative commons licensed…all require attribution:

Long list from Terry Roberts


Free Image Database

NASA Images

Royalty Free Clip Art

Additional royalty free image list  by Larry Ferlazzo

and royalty free music/sound effects list by Larry Ferlazzo

And my original list of favorites is still here.

Royalty Free Music and Images

Monday, November 10th, 2008

On Using Music in Video Podcasts

It’s important that the music you choose to use in your video productions matches the mood of your project. Some of the K12 Online sessions had funeral dirge music during moments of inspiration and it kind of killed the mood for me.

If you want good music you have to move beyond the built in music on your computer. It used to be extremely hard to find music you had permission to use but no more. It does take a little searching to find the perfect piece but plenty of royalty free music is now available to teachers and students.

Do be sure to credit the artists of every piece you use

Royalty Free Music Sites

Kevin Macleod
This guy has great movie music that’s easily searchable by mood and style. I don’t know how he makes a living cuz he’s giving good stuff away for free.

CC Hits Ning
Quite a few good tunes though the site is not easy to search and a little buggy when it comes to previewing songs

Podsafe Audio
good stuff, great variety

Moby Gratis
Recording artist, Moby, makes some of his discarded tunes available free to filmmakers
If you listen to the tracks, they’re mostly ambient, ephemeral pieces though I did find one I liked for my Film School for Video Podcasters project.

royalty free stuff, though I sometimes suspect some of the “public domain” material really isn’t

Jonathan Roberts
interesting stuff that I didn’t use for my last project but might use in the future

Jimmy G
I didn’t find anything that I used from here but it’s another option. Requires registration.
This site contains music and video that is supposedly in the public domain…I have found a few examples on the web site that are not in the public domain and so I’m a little bit hesitant about using some of the material in video projects.  Nevertheless, this is a great web site with tons of material.

I haven’t used this site yet, navigation is not entirely intuitive

Sound Effects/Foley

Sound Effects
great site for sound effects


Absolute Sound Effects Archive

Free Sound Project

Royalty Free Images
a free product of Tech4Learning—these are images donated for classroom use
I always start here in the classroom because there are no inappropriate images and the site is simple enough so that I have taught first graders to navigate it.

Free Images Donated by Photographers
This is my second destination when I can’t find what I’m looking for on pics4learning. They are not necessarily for educational use but are available free and taken by real photographers who are willing to share their images.

Flickr Creative Commons Images
has images taken by photographers of different abilities (amateur and professional) which you can use according to their Creative Commons license.

free images for web pages

iStock Photo – only $1 a picture
If you still can’t find what you want or are going to use your images in commercial projects, why not pay $1 per photo and use the image legally? These site has pictures of almost anything you would want.

Use the challenge of respecting copyrights as a teachable moment for students. How can we ask students not to illegally download music if we steal images?

Free Clip Art

Related Posts:

Fair Use Resources

Fair Use Resources

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this comic book which aims to teach about Fair Use from Duke University.

I want to share my favorite Fair Use resource…I absolutely love the Barely Legal Radio program here in Los Angeles though I always listen online since I’m in school at the times when it’s on the radio. Jaime Escalante is hilarious and because I dabble in the film biz, I get a lot of good information from the show. If you have an interest in entertainment law or want to hear about fair use from a lawyer, this is a great show for you.

Also see:

Hall Davidson’s Fair Use guidelines for teachers.

Wes Fryer’s Copyright 101

Stanford’s Fair Use Legal Page

Recut, Reuse, Recycle:  Article on the Legality of Mashups

Royalty Free Images/Music

Copyright/Public Domain Slider