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Discussion #2 (Copyright and Fair Use)

“Copyright is the lawful right of an author, artist, composer or other creator to control the
use of his or her work by others. Generally speaking, a copyrighted work may not be duplicated,
disseminated, or appropriated by others without the creator's permission. The public display or
performance of copyrighted works is similarly restricted” according to the Office of the General
counsel. Copyright is a huge issue in the World Wide Web. It is a form of digital plagiarism if
not given credit or authorized for use. It is not a stolen copyright when “you are commenting
upon or critiquing a copyrighted work—for instance, writing a book review—fair use principles
allow you to reproduce some of the work to achieve your purposes” (Richard Stim Commentary
and Criticism). Obviously, there are fine lines as to how and where we can use another person’s
work. The rule to always go by is ask before and cite correctly. An example of copyright would
be downloading a song from YouTube and putting it in a video, but you did not buy the song and
therefore have no rights to use it. The song could be blocked out in your video if you ever decide
to publish it.
What us fair use? “Fair use is the right to use a copyrighted work under certain
conditions without permission of the copyright owner. The doctrine helps prevent a rigid
application of copyright law that would stifle the very creativity the law is designed to foster. It
allows one to use and build upon prior works in a manner that does not unfairly deprive prior
copyright owners of the right to control and benefit from their works” (Richard Stim Fair Use of
Copyrighted Material). The are four factors of fair use. These factors justify and define the use of
copyrighted material without the authors approval. These factors are “the purpose and character
of your use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion
taken, and the effect of the use upon the potential market” (Stim, R. Measuring Fair Use: The
Four Factors). These factors are used in the courts to judge cases. The first factor bases on how
the work was transformed to how the new author is to use it. Are they changing the words to fit a
speech or changing the rhythm of the music to create a new sound? Secondly, the next factor
focuses on the what type of copyright the new author is using. Is it published or unpublished?
The third factor determines if the new author used to much of the copyright work for their own
use. This is as if the new author was taking the words from someone else and telling others it was
theirs. Finally, the fourth factor determines if the borrowed copyright is affecting the original
authors reimbursement for the creation. With all these factors in play it is simple to accidentally
miss copyright material but as a scholar we must focus on these issues to maintain academic
integrity.
Works Cited
Office of the General Counsel. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ogc.harvard.edu/pages/copyright-
and-fair-use
Stim, R., & Stim, R. (2017, April 11). What Is Fair Use? Retrieved from
https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/
Stim, R., & Stim, R. (2017, April 10). Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors. Retrieved from
https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-
factors/#the_transformative_factor_the_purpose_and_character_of_your_use

Replies:
1. Emily White-Emily, I agree that is a large form of plagiarism that is misunderstood and
should be brought to everyone's attention. It is very easy to copyright and many teachers
do it on a daily that is unnoticeable. Teachers use videos, music, and many other works
that have been published for examples and they have to remember to cite these as they
also do on paper. The example of a teacher copyrighting a lesson plan is a new thought
that I find interesting and would like to find more on it. Thanks!
2. Christopher Booker-Great start off! I did not think to ask those questions. I think it will
help to know these questions when a teacher is trying to pull copyright material for a
lesson. I like that you stressed the penalty of using copyrighted material incorrectly. You
also presented the reader with the educational and legal definition of copyright which can
be construed in different ways. Thank!
3. Judith Pena-Judith, I, too found Richard Stim very easy to understand when he explains
copyright and fair use. I found giving examples to explain the fair use helpful to the
reader and gives good clarity to the laws. I like that you explained why copyright has
been implemented. Teachers are able to use these materials correctly with correct
citations. Thanks!