October Monthly Check-in

Hi @may20-cohort! We’ll be gathering next Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3pm ET to talk about licensing and fair use. So far, I have 1 question from Robin about linking to vs. embedding videos. Are there other copyright, licensing, permissions questions that you have on your projects? If not, I’ll try to craft the session to recap some basic principles and put together some scenarios for us to assess together during our conversation.

Interested to learn more about using book cover art. Is it fair use or do we need to get the rights?

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Thanks, John. Would you be just using the cover art as decorative images in the text? Or providing commentary, using the covers to explain certain concepts, or even modifying the covers?

These additional questions are mainly for me to get a sense of what your intended use is, so I can look into the legality accordingly.

Using it to highlight books we would talk about

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Hi Apurva,
Perhaps you could include some information on copyright fair use of online image files and resources for finding images to use in our texts?

Thank you!
Zac

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Definitely, thanks Zach!

@may20-cohort I’m looking forward to our discussion on copyright and fair use tomorrow at 3:30pm ET on Zoom.

Take a look at the resources I’ve prepared for this conversation:

  1. Handout: Copyright and Fair Use
  2. Slides: Copyright and Fair Use

As I’ve said before, I’m hoping this session can be a bit more interactive than others. I’ll provide a brief overview to get us started, and we can get to talking. If you have more questions for us to tackle during our session, these are welcome!

Hi, Apurva,

I’ll be logged in to the meeting tomorrow but will also be covering my library’s Chat Reference service. We are short-staffed so I have to pull double duty. Some days I don’t have any students log in, but this afternoon I’ve had back to back questions since 2:30!

Fran

Thanks for the head’s up, Fran. I’m glad that students are coming to you all for help, but of course, sorry that you are short staffed. Feel free to keep coming in and out of our discussion as you need to. We won’t mind! :slight_smile:

Hi, Apurva,

One of the links in the handouts list goes to a different site than shown in writing. Here’s the link to Open Washington’s Copyright & Open Licensing FAQs:

https://www.openwa.org/faq/#hyperlink


Frequently Asked Questions - Open Washington: Open Educational Resources Network
Q: I’ve often heard that copyright law has many exceptions when the work is being used “for educational purposes” and have always wondered what that meant… A: What you’ve described is called the Fair Use doctrine.It’s a principle that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. The nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and …
www.openwa.org

Fran

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Thanks for catching this, Fran! I’ve updated the document :slight_smile:

I noticed one small thing in one of the slides which could catch people up. I think it said that works created before 1925 are all in the public domain … but I don’t believe it quite so simple. 1925 was 95 years ago. So works of corporate ownership – such as journal articles where the scholar has signed over the rights to the commercial publisher, or works-for-hire – fall into the public domain after 95 years from the date of publication. That means that, yes, corporate-owned works from before 1925 are all in the public domain now (in the US).

But works under individual copyright ownership fall into the public domain 70 years after the death of their author. And in some cases, those works may be from before 1925, but still be under copyright!

I found an example! T.S. Eliot died in 1965. So works of his – unless he did them as works-for-hire or signed over the copyright ownership to a corporation – are still under copyright (1965+70=2035, which is still in the future). But his famous poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” was published in 1915. So that’s an example of something from before 1925 which is still under copyright!

Which all goes to underline the fact that it’s not super easy to know exactly which works are in the public domain: for every work under individual copyright, you have to know the date of death of the author! When you take into account the differing lengths of copyright in different countries, it gets even more complicated…

…I just thought we might all want to keep an eye out for this… (And it makes the reasoning in using Creative Commons-licensed materials, where your usage rights are very clear right there in the licensing statement on the work, every stronger.)

Thanks for catching this, and the clarification! I’ve updated our slides, and hope that this help me & others be a bit more careful when conducting copyright checks or searching for openly licensed materials to reuse.

@may20-cohort, especially those who couldn’t join our session, please let me know if you have any questions that you’d like to revisit — questions from the cohort have been shared in the slides. See the final slide for a list of questions that came up during our conversation. I’ve saved our chat transcript from our session, and these are the links that were shared:

A few other important points:

  • Our session in November was scheduled for November 3rd. We’ve decided to reschedule and move this session up one week to October 27th, at 3:30pm ET. The syllabus has been updated to reflect this change, and I’ll be sure to send a reminder in advance of the check-in.
  • Some topics suggested for our next check-in include:
    • a deeper dive into accessibility when formatting. If this is of interest, I might ask each of you for a copy of one of your chapters in progress, and perhaps we work hands-on to format these in Pressbooks/PreTeXt
    • creative formatting and layout ideas — how do you break up content, especially text, and make it more engaging for readers?

Are there other topics you’d like us to tackle? Or do any one of these speak to you more? Let me know by next week, so I can start putting things together before we meet!