“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants…”

shoulder to shoulder

shoulder to shoulder By alfromelkhorn

“Copyright law recognizes that creativity doesn’t arise in a vacuum. As creators, we all stand on the shoulders of giants.” Center for Social Media, Fair Use Language for Course Syllabi.

To answer Mathieu Plourde’s question for #udsnf12 blog question, only in one regard have I encountered copyright issues that I felt were inappropriate in the classroom setting: lack of credit to the originator. I have seen numerous times where the presenter does not give credit to images or content. With that said, I still feel that the instructor was able to use the materials without infringing on copyright.

Copyright Act of 1790:

“An Act for the encouragement of learning”

Based on the premise of fair use concerning the transformation of the content, I would argue that all educators who use any and all materials in their classrooms are transforming the use of the content. We are not trying to re-package it and sell it, we are trying to use the material to enhance, expand, support, promote, and solidify the concepts we are teaching. This is not the same thing as trying to re-sell it on the open market as our own creation.

Renee Hobbs’copyright research funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has highlighted the true nature of copyright law, which is to promote the social benefit that occurs from sharing knowledge.

zazzle hats

In Kirby Ferguson’s, Everything is a Remix series he reminds us that to become proficient we need to emulate and practice others’ materials before we can become masters who create new works and ideas. “Copying is how we learn.”


4 thoughts on ““Standing on the Shoulders of Giants…”

  1. Isn’t it interesting that the original use of copyrighting has skewed so far to one side. Going from the promotion of social benefit that occurs from sharing knowledge, to control and money. I agree that most educators are only trying to remix available content to emphasize a point in a more entertaining way. Reusing content either visual or audible to help make their point. Not for resale.

  2. I offer most of my photos as Creative Commons because I want people to enjoy them. But I DO want credit for them. I feel that is not too much to ask.

    Periodically I do a Google search on my name and check to see where my photos are being used, and it was one of those searches that brought me to your page.

    I just want to thank the author of this posting for following the rules of Creative Commons.

    ~ alfromelkhorn

    • Hi alfromelkhorn,

      Thanks for leaving this note. This kind of “pay it forward” attitude is what makes the internet such a valuable place for all to enjoy. And thank you for using open licenses on your pictures.

      P.S.: To automate your search for your handle and name across the web, try Google Alerts!


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