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Publishing memes also means
knowing copyright rules QT14

Posted by on Sep 24, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Memes.

Entertainment. Political statements. A way to comment on issues, events, people.

And, if not done correctly, says Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, a way to violate the owner’s copyright. A violation several owners pursued.

If it’s not considered fair use, student media could be sued for copyright infringement or receive a letter demanding payment for use of the copyrighted work.

There is not much precedent about the use of memes and whether they are considered a fair use under copyright law.

That is the ultimate question.

If students comment on the meme itself, their use is probably going to be considered a fair use and it should be fine. Attribution is ethically appropriate but it’s not legally required.

On the other hand, if students use the meme because it illustrates something they want to say and they’re not engaged in some commentary about the original copyright work, it wouldn’t be a fair use, even if you attribute it. And in either case, attribution isn’t really a factor. Attributing a work to its source doesn’t avoid a copyright infringement claim.


Guideline and policy

Although most copyright owners might not complain about the use of their work in a meme, some have pursued payment from individuals who used their images without permission.

Being careful is wise.

Key points/action: There is not much precedent about the use of memes and whether they are considered a fair use under copyright law. That is the ultimate question.

If it’s not considered fair use, you could be sued for copyright infringement or receive a letter demanding payment for use of the copyrighted work.

Stance: If your students are commenting on the meme itself, their use is probably going to be considered a fair use and it should be fine. Attribution is ethically appropriate but it’s not legally required.

Reasoning/suggestions: On the other hand, if your students are using the meme because it illustrates something they want to say and they’re not engaged in some commentary about the original copyright work, it wouldn’t be a fair use, even if you attribute it. And in either case, attribution isn’t really a factor. Attributing a work to its source doesn’t avoid a copyright infringement claim.

Another potential copyright concern is with video dubs. Although a common event in some schools, video dubs need to be handled with legal and ethical care. It is essential, if the product is to go on the web, it is essential to follow all copyright requirements.

Guidelines for these may be found here.

Student media set a strong model for others to follow, so it is incumbent on them to follow copyright laws and ethical guidelines.

Resources: Mark Goodman, Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, Kent State University, September 2017.

How copyright is killing your favorite memes

Read my lips: Students should exercise caution when producing lip sync videos

Video dubs

Related: These points and other decisions about mission statement, forum status and editorial policy should be part of a Foundations Package  that protects journalistically responsible student expression.

 

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What you don’t know COULD hurt you

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Blog, Legal issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE

Recent applications for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award revealed some knowledge gaps. Perhaps it’s not surprising that school principals couldn’t define unprotected speech on the forms each school submitted. So often media advisers and student publication staff members have to do a little educating of their administrators.

But a sizable number of advisers and student editors, who also had to respond to the same question, didn’t know the answer either….

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Video dubs

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Blog, Ethical Issues, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Foundations_mainEthical guidelines
sprclogo
Although a common event in some schools, video dubs need to be handled with legal and ethical care. It is essential, if the product is to go on the web, it is essential to follow all copyright requirements.

Student media set a strong model for others to follow, so it is incumbent on them to follow copyright laws and ethical guidelines.

Staff manual process
Student journalists should seek written permission for any music to be used in a video dub product.

Suggestions 

Resources
Copyright Permissions and Lip Dubs, School Video News
Read My Lips: Students Should Exercise Caution When Producing Lip Sync Videos, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee
Student Media Guide to Copyright Law, Student Press Law Center

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Handle yearbook copyright issues
before you find the book for sale online

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by John Bowen
Because advisers raised this issue on JEA’s listserv before Christmas break, we thought now would be the perfect time to address the issue.

Students and advisers unhappy with various groups who buy and sell school yearbooks online, with no funds going to the student media, have several steps to consider if they want to fight the practice.

First, some points to consider:
• Yearbooks published before March 1, 1989 are no longer copyright protected. Resellers have clear access to them.
• If there is no copyright notice in a yearbook or if there is and the owner of it is not the school, the school is not the owner of that book if nothing else suggests the school owns the rights to the book. The printing company also has no ownership rights. Having the school be the copyright owner would also suggest the school can control content and decisions, and that is not smart in the long-run for student freedom of expression.
• For current student editors to engage in a copyright lawsuit, they would have to actively pursue a legal copyright infringement claim or appoint an agent to do so.
• Past student yearbook editors would have to assign copyright rights to current editor(s) to allow them to pursue a lawsuit on their behalf. This could create a larger claim.
• Advisers have no legal right to claim copyright infringement, just as a school has no rights.
• No class action can likely occur because copyright infringement suits are too fact specific.
• Students would have had to – or would still have to – complete the formal registration process and be able to clearly demonstrate the yearbook’s value at the time of publication through some sort of price guide.

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Tweet 7: Know copyright guidelines to avoid issues

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Blog, Hazelwood, Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 1 comment

hazelwoodcolorUse original work–don’t ‘borrow.’ Copyright violation is a quick way to unhealthy student media. #25HZLWD http://jeasprc.org/tweet-7-know-copyright-guidelines-to-avoid-issues/

Student publications are legally and ethically required to follow the same copyright laws as professional newspapers and websites. That generally means that unless you have permission to use someone else’s work (yes, even if you found it on the Internet), you shouldn’t use it.

Some exceptions, like “fair use,” mean you can use another person’s image or work in limited circumstances.

Learn more about copyright and fair use from the Student Press Law Center resources listed below:
• Who owns the copyright? It depends.
http://www.jeasprc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/sprc-owncopyrtpkg10.pdf
• Principals, advisers and students face misconceptions about who owns student
work
http://www.splc.org/news/report_detail.asp?id=1584&edition=54
• Copyright
and
fair
use
http://ww.splc.org/presentations/kyr‐copyright.pdf
• Back
to
school
checklist:
who
owns
what?
http://www.splc.org/wordpress/?cat=13
• Guide
to
copyright
law
http://www.splc.org/knowyourrights/legalresearch.asp?id=32
• Copyright
law
PowerPoint
www.splc.org/presentations/ppcopyrightlaw.pps
• copyright

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