Copyright Law Expands to Help Educators and Students

There's some good news and some bad news, depending on whether you teach at the college or K-12 level. From an article in E-School News:

A new ruling from the U.S. Copyright Office will affect how higher education students and teachers can use digital material in the classroom, thanks to the proactive efforts a university professor who says that increasing digital literacy and student skills is a responsibility educators can’t afford to brush off.

The change comes as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. copyright law that criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent digital rights management (DRM) that controls access to copyrighted works. The Copyright Office, which meets to discuss exemption proceedings every three years, oversees management of the DMCA.

Renee Hobbs, professor of communication at the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, along with a small handful of other higher ed educators, formally petitioned the Copyright Office in 2009 to receive an exemption that would allow educators and students to legally “rip” excerpts of copy-protected movie DVDs for comment and criticism.

Thanks to this small but determined group’s efforts, higher ed students and teachers can now “rip” movie excerpts legally to make commentaries and and compilations, as well as other works.

In reality, all the news is good-- since educators and students can now legally rip excerpts of copy-protected DVD movies for purposes of comment and criticism. Wow! Really? Click here to learn more.