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‘OK…But Can I Use This?’: Navigating Copyright in the College Classroom

cartoon of stick person sitting under tree with talk bubble: 'sometimes i just can't get outraged over copyright law.'

[xkcd 14: “Copyright”]

We typically think of copyright (to the extent we think of it at all) as a convoluted thicket of commandments that tell us what we can’t do with other people’s stuff.

This makes sense. Most of us don’t have much cause to think about copyright except when we want to use someone else’s stuff, usually in a teaching or classroom context.

In an increasingly ‘online’ world, though, copyright applies to all of us in another important way: as people who create stuff of our own. Any time we create a ‘fixed expression,’ (in other words a tangible record), we are automatically granted certain rights about how it’s used.

Because the advent of digital technology has resulted in a truly massive outpouring of ‘fixed expressions’ (no longer limited by the cost or scarcity of physical materials), we all find ourselves – whether we think much about it or not – navigating the waters of copyright and intellectual property as both creators and consumers.

In the spirit of the old adage that sometimes the best defense is a good offense, getting a handle on the key elements of copyright can be empowering, giving you the tools to take decisive, confident action not just in how you integrate others’ work into your teaching, but also in terms of your relationship to stuff of your own creation (writings, videos, assignments, lesson plans, curricula, artistic works).

Join Terri Gustafson and me for a CIE Friday Connect (see details and link below) as we attempt to transform the area of law we sometimes wish would just go away into a tool we can use confidently in the classroom and beyond.

‘OK…But Can I Use This?’ : Navigating Copyright in the College Classroom
CIE Friday Connect – Friday, March 19, 12:30pm-1:30pm
https://nmc.zoom.us/j/99015795410?pwd=dEZiMklXZTZmY0lpTlFrbmpBODBHQT09

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