One statement made during this session regarding copyright was false. It is in fact permissible under educational fair use to screen full versions of films for the purpose of film studies courses (although possibly only in non profit schools). The distinction of the quantity in general fair use is separate from the specific educational use exemption, meaning that while CNN can only to use small parts of Up in a news story or documentary on Pixar, it could be screened in toto as part of a lesson on storytelling techniques in a film course.
In face to face teaching it is defensible to screen full works.
This from Frankiln and Marshall College:
“Screening Movies on Campus
Classroom situations may fall under the Face-To-Face Teaching Exception under Fair Use Guidelines if certain principles are met:
A face-to-face teaching exception is met through the following:
• The instructor/TA should be present for the screening.
• The film is only shown to those students enrolled in the class.
• The relationship between the film or video and the course is explicit.
• The film is not being shown for recreational or entertainment.
The screening must have a lawfully made (not pirated or illegally copied) copy of the video. The screening should not be publicized or announced for an audience outside the students in the class.”
And this from Critical Commons regrading the Society for Cinema and Media Studies best practices statement:
Society for Cinema and Media Studies logo
“PRINCIPLE I: CLASSROOM SCREENINGS The practice of screening excerpts or entire works within the face-to-face teaching context is well established, requiring no permission or payment. A face-to-face teaching context involves educators being in the same general place as their students during the display and performance of copyrighted works. The space itself does not have to be an actual classroom and may include other places used for instruction, such as a gymnasium, auditorium, or library. Educators using film and media for instructional purposes within the face-to-face teaching context require great latitude to display, perform, and reproduce copyrighted works. They routinely utilize still images, film and video clips, video games, audio segments, and other media for the purposes of analyzing and illustrating historical, theoretical, and critical ideas. In many cases, educators need to use complete works, either in class or during separate screening times. Educators have been doing this at U.S. universities for many decades. This understanding of the fair use doctrine seems to be supported by current practices, as at least 70% of SCMS survey respondents reported that they screen materials for courses without formally securing permissions from rights holders.”
Despite the fact that fair-use statues specifically call out media studies as a permitted use, my reading of the above suggests that Dwayne’s issue about the use of historic fiction films to study history would also be covered under the educational use exemption.
Once again, I think the biggest problem is not copyright infringement in schools, but the overly conservative interpretation of the rules. If we felt that too many teachers and schools were being sued and that the value of creators works were being damaged by educational uses, then maybe we should talk about tighter restrictions, but I have never heard of anyone being sued (although I’m sure it happens) but have heard dozens of folks opt not to use valuable educational material out of the fear of infringement.
More so than any other class of use, education is very specifically called out as being exempt. I pointed out in another blog how the DMCA was specifically amended to allow film studies instructors to crack the copy protection on DVDs for the purpose of instruction. I think we all need to feel much less worried about these issues as they relate to our classrooms.
It looks like the Society for Cinema and Media Studies agrees, as mentioned in this introduction to their Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators in which they write:
“it is unsurprising that academic gatekeepers (libraries, university general counsels, IT staffs, etc.) frequently choose to adopt overly cautious and conservative copyright policies that sometimes result in a diminished educational experience for film and media students.”
Of course, this is not to say that we don’t need to worry about copyright infringement. As content creators and teacher of content creators, we should make a point of being very knowledgeable about copyright issues, which we should share with our students.
Apple’s Challenge Based Learning initiative
There was also a discussion of the leadership project, which I too feel a little miffed about. Prof Bustillos has answered twice that we may have been asked to simplify our project if the EMDT faculty judged a project to be beyond the scope of a CBR. But I was not required to limit my project until the 9th month when the path of it was mostly set. What I was doing was completely possible and circumscribed, would have been successful and would have been something I would have been proud to present at a conference.
The problem was that it only made sense to understand the CBR project in the context of myself as the student accepting a challenge to design curriculum. Because with the timing of monthly starts, the challenge had to be defined before the target audience was selected or in most cases even existed, as most teachers get a new crop of students every semester.
I was told in the 9th month by Dr. Bedard that I was mistaken and was supposed to have issued a challenge to a target audience for them to solve, despite the fact that this completely violates the principals of CBL, where the students need to be the ones devising and accepting a challenge, not having it dictated to them. But I was very specifically instructed to make changes to what I was doing to make it fit an exact template in a very proscribed way. I have done this, as I was told that if I did not I would not to graduate, but it makes my project seem trivial to me, so much so that I would never want to present it.
Maybe once I am freed from the silly, pedantic and instructivist structure of this process, I can reconstruct my original idea and present that, but for this project, I will produce whatever I am required, but will not be forced to make a public presentation of work which has been gutted by faculty who did not seem to be able to understand it.