Think Before You Share

Copyrights and Copywrongs

This week we have learned how copyright laws can affect our students and how we must make decisions when lectures are made. We should not put work out there just because we think it is great information for our students to learn. We must first take into consideration is this fair use? Credit should always be given where credit is due. Citing sources, asking for rights to use their information, and being careful to not plagiarize the information is how we can be better role models for our students. If we want them to have organic experiences, then we should show them that we are doing the same thing.

 After reading the white paper I was asked my opinion if I thought if the U.S. Copyright Office gave a good argument to separate from the Library of Congress. A new Librarian of Congress will be appointed to replace the retired James Billington who served for the past 28 years.  Billington took office before the advent of the World Wide Web and the sweeping changes of the information age.  Presently the Librarian of Congress oversees the U.S. Copyright Office, but some think this should change.  The Hudson Institute recently released a white paper detailing why the U.S. Copyright Office should be separated from the Library of Congress.  After reading the white paper, do you think the Hudson Institute makes a good case for separation or should they remain together?

I believe the paper makes a great cause that the U.S. Copyright Office separate from the Library of Congress. The U.S. Copyright Office although, being still behind in the technological times they seem to have a plan and sources to build their bank of sources. They seem to have the right guidance on IT, secretary placement, and sources to scan in the documents that are needed to provide an online and active database that will be easier to search. The office seems as if it needs to be ran as one entity alone. There are so many things that need to be focused on that could be missed due to the broad office that it has been ran under for so many years. The past Librarian was put in to play way before times had advanced to online libraries and digital files. Now, the database must be looked at in a different perspective.  

Below, I have explained the main terms that we covered this week and what each of them mean. Each of them shows an example:

  • Plagiarism is when someone takes someone else’s work and represents it as their own. Such as, a paper, poem, or artwork without giving them credit for using their work. For example, is when a student pays for a paper online and submits it as their own to you for a class assignment. 
  • Copyright infringement is when anyone violates the rights granted to a copyright owner by making unauthorized use of work. For example, if Johnny makes a video for his you tube channel and post background music from his favorite rapper but does not have rights to use his music, he could be liable for copy infringement.
  • Attribution is giving credit to the source of the work. For example, citing the source of a research paper in your works cited or references to give proper credit to the original source.
  • Transformation is when your work is being used for a different manner than what the original work was intended to be used. For Example, a band makes a song and then years later a singer will write a song with similar lyric and music to transpose it such as the case with 2liveCrew and Roy Orbison.

I was also asked the following statement: “The effective use of copyrighted materials enhances the teaching and learning process” I think of all the digital access that our students have access to. I believe it is important to educate not only ourselves, but our students on the appropriate way to access and use the information. Although, many of the works that are available to them can be shared and re-shared on social media and used for other works does not mean ignorance is bliss.

Before, giving our students a project, we should educate them on how we would like them to present it and what the proper way is to give certain credit to the information that they are researching and using digitally. Such as, if they refer to a you tube video and post it on their e-portfolio they should give the proper credit to the original maker of the video. Educators as well when reviewing videos or posting them to their presentations or taking digital media, pictures, or other works should give the credit where credit is due.

I know I fail at this daily when I lecture. I tend to at the last minute find a video of “how breathing works” and post it to my slide deck to show my students when they are not understanding the mechanisms. I tend to forget to refer to the original maker, hospital, or doctor who originally makes it. This is where we should be the models at. It is our responsibility to model the behavior that is expected out of our students.

After this week review, I have learned that I need to be more careful with how I present my lectures to my students. I tend to like to incorporate videos, make copies of workbooks, and add pictures from the web to help show them how the respiratory world works. I must give the credit where credit is due. I am lacking in this department and I need to make sure I am modeling what I expect from my students. When posting something or sharing something going forward, I will think is this fair use? Remember Think before you Share!


McCord, Gretchen. (2014). Fair use: the secrets no one tells you.

Tepp, S., & Oman, R. (2015, October). A 21st Century Copyright Office: The Conservative Case for

Reform. Retrieved from


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