Routledge Companion on Media Education, Copyright and Fair Use

The Routledge Companion on Media Education, Copyright and Fair Use

Edited by Renee Hobbs 

This book offers a multidisciplinary perspective on media education and the law of copyright and fair use. Media educators rely on the ability to make use of copyrighted materials from mass media, digital media and popular culture for both analysis and production activities. Whether they work in higher education, elementary and secondary schools, or in informal learning settings in libraries, community and non-profit organizations, educators know that the practice of media literacy depends on a robust interpretation of copyright and fair use. Designed for students and faculty seeking a broad and deep overview of the landscape of media education in relation to issues of copyright and fair use, this book introduces readers to the multidisciplinary perspectives that inform state-of-the-art scholarship, synthesizing key insights and helping to fertilize the interests of future scholarship of the field.

Rationale. Innovative educational uses of digital technology, including media literacy, are still being hampered by the restrictions of copyright. In a white paper developed by Fisher and Palfrey (2006) at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, they demonstrated how provisions of copyright law concerning the educational use of copyrighted material interfere with realizing the full potential of digital technology in education. Educators aim to embrace a culture where digital resources are plentiful, building new skills of accessing, curating, evaluating, analyzing and creating with digital resources. But educational structures, as well as business and institutional structures shaped by copyright law, may limit innovation.

Media educators make active use of copyrighted works in the practice of teaching and learning. They frequently use popular culture, mass media, digital media, or other artifacts that are not traditionally defined as “educational media.” In part because of several well-publicized cases in which severe penalties have been directed at individuals involved in file-sharing and because of the rise of licensed online multimedia products marketed directly to schools, a climate of fear about potential liability concerning the unlicensed use of copyrighted materials in education is prevalent among educators in higher education and K-12 schools. Today, scholars and practitioners report that crucial provisions of the law, including the fair use, educational use, and the TEACH Act provisions of the law may differentially support or challenge the instructional practice of media literacy that occur both in school and informal learning environments. Although copyright law does not prohibit teachers from using copyrighted materials in their own classes, concerns may arise when the teachers who curate or compose educational materials with copyrighted content distribute it to other teachers for use in their classrooms. There are also concerns about how digital rights management technologies may lock up content and create practical difficulties obtaining rights to use content when licenses are necessary. There is significant copyright confusion and hyper-compliance by gatekeepers such as educational administrators, IT administrators and librarians, which may interfere with movement towards legal reform, technological improvements in the rights clearance process, educator agreement on best practices, and increased use of open access distribution.

With chapters written by leading scholars and practitioners from the fields of media studies, education, writing and rhetoric, law and society, library and information studies, and the digital humanities, The Routledge Companion to Media Literacy, Copyright and Fair Use addresses the opportunities and challenges of copyright and fair use in relation to the theory, pedagogy and practice of media education and media literacy. This volume provides a scholarly and professional context for understanding the ways in which new conceptualizations of copyright and fair use are shaping the pedagogical practices of media education in both K-12 and higher education.

About the Edited Book. The Routledge Companion to Media Literacy, Copyright and Fair Use, edited by Renee Hobbs and with contributions by 30 distinguished authors, is designed to be useful to students and faculty in media studies, writing and rhetoric, library and information studies, educational technology, and curriculum and instruction. Courses on digital media and learning and digital and media literacy have proliferated in a variety of different academic departments at universities and community colleges across the United States and around the world. Often these courses are taught in departments of education, library and information studies, writing and rhetoric, and communications and media studies.

New research in the area of digital media and learning and the rise of digital technology in education in both K-12 and higher education has brought these fields closer together than ever before. At the present time, there is no resource available to upper-level undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in courses in Film/Media, Communication Studies, Technology Education, Digital Humanities, Information Studies, or Media, Education, and Society looking for a readable volume that introduces them to the full range of legal, political, educational and cultural issues at the intersection of media literacy, copyright and fair use. A number of professional organizations have members with interests in this topic, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) with their special interest group on Media Culture and Society, the International Communication Association (ICA) divisions in Communication Law and Policy and Instructional and Developmental Communication, the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), the Alliance of Library and Information Studies Education conference (ALISE), and perhaps most importantly, the College Composition Communication Conference (CCCC) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), whose conference attracts 3,000 teachers of writing in higher education contexts. Widespread differences in the law of copyright restrict the relevance of this work to a predominantly American audience. However, despite the U.S. focus, I expect that this book may be informative to media literacy scholars and educators from around the world. For example, even though the law of copyright does not apply to educators outside the U.S., I have been invited to talk about media literacy, copyright and fair use in places as diverse as The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, France and Poland. It is highly likely that American copyright traditions are influencing the perspectives of the media literacy community worldwide.

Manuscript and Timetable.  A combination of specially solicited invitations to distinguished scholars along with an open request for proposals to attract new scholarly voices will be used to assemble manuscripts for this edited book. Examples of to-be-solicited invitations are provided below. These chapters will ensure that the book offers substantial state-of-the-art scholarship from well-respected leaders in the fields of communication and media studies, education, library and information studies, writing and composition, and digital humanities. The tone of the essays will include a mix of scholarly and professional perspectives, including the use of first-person voice to characterize the work of practicing teachers working in K-12 and higher education. The manuscripts to be included in this book will be organized around the following themes (a) foundational issues related to media literacy, copyright and fair use; (b) legal issues in copyright and fair use; (c) educational contexts for teaching and learning; and (d) issues for the future. Below are examples of invited authors whose work has shaped the discourse in the fields of communication and media studies, library and information studies, writing and composition, and education. The work of invited authors will anchor the book and ensure that the book is of a consistent academic quality. In addition, we will solicit requests for manuscript submissions widely, from several academic disciplines, using a request for proposal (RFP) invitation. Some essays will be provide a big-picture overview of the landscape of issues while others will drill down into situations and contexts relevant to the practice of media education, offering descriptive and empirical accounts of the copyright and fair use issues that arise.


Conceptual and Historical Perspectives on Media Education, Copyright and Fair Use - Renee Hobbs

Visual and Media Literacy, Copyright Issues and Librarianship - Scott Spicer

Digital Learning: Addressing the Dissolution of the Walled Garden - Jim Kerkoff and Carole Turner

Copyright and Digital Learning - Kenneth Crews

Reclaiming Fair Use through Best Practices - Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi

Classroom Guidelines as Litigation Avoidance Strategies - Jennifer Rothman

Copying is Free Speech  -  Rebecca Tushnet

The Pedagogy of Remix Video Composition - Peter Fadde and Patricia Sullivan

Copyright Issues in Media Literacy Curriculum Development - Chris Sperry and Cyndy Schiebe

Copyright in the Classroom: Industry Perspectives - Tarleton Gillespie

Teaching Teachers about Copyright and Fair Use - Renee Hobbs, Sandy Hayes and Kristin Hokanson

DMCA Advocacy for Copyright and Digital Writing -  Martine Rife


How Children Learn about Copyright - David Cooper Moore 

Creative Commons in Journalism Education - Esther Wojcicki

Ripping for Teaching - Edgar Huang

Teaching Digital Copyright: Approaches at the University Level - Billy Herman

The Legal Status of Online Fan Fiction - Aaron Schwabach


Copyright and Digital Media Resources for Teaching and Learning - Stephen Robertson