What’s Fair? Untangling Copyright

Two years ago, I was assigned to make a video in a class I was taking in the instructional technology department of USF’s school of education. I decided to focus on fair use, having recently been heartily inspired by Martine Courant Rife‘s chapter “Ideas Toward a Fair Use Heuristic: Visual Rhetoric and Composition” from Steve Westbrook’s edited collection Composition and Copyright: Perspectives on Teaching, Text-Making, and Fair Use. (There’s a great synopsis of the chapter here.)

I never liked a few things about my video: the (required) moving titles at the end, the bad mic quality, some of the more cryptic image choices. I always planned to fix the thing up and get it out there, but I never got around to it.

In the meantime, I’ve noticed that I’ve found myself becoming our FYC department’s fair use champion–and I often find myself quoting Rife’s chapter in defense of the doctrine. So today I decided to compromise: I would fix the horrid end credits and a couple other minor things, ignore the big problems, and upload it to YouTube regardless. And really, after a couple years, I still liked the video more than I thought I would, and some of my gripes are probably things that I’ll notice more than others.

I hope it will be a conversation-starter, potentially even a controversial one. But we need a little controversy in our classes for the lessons to stick, right?

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1 Comment

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One response to “What’s Fair? Untangling Copyright

  1. You make excellent points and they are tastefully presented.

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