Teachers Teaching Teachers #184 - Renee Hobbs and Troy Hicks Discuss Fair Use - 01.27.10

Post-Show description: 

Our friend and colleague, Chris Sloan, from the Wasatch Range Writing Project in Utah invited Renee Hobbs and Troy Hicks to join us on this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers. (By the way, if you would like to plan and produce (and later edit) a TTT webcast like Chris did for this episode, please email Paul Allison or Susan Ettenheim.)

Our friend and colleague, Chris Sloan, from the Wasatch Range Writing Project in Utah invited Renee Hobbs and Troy Hicks to join us on this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers. (By the way, if you would like to plan and produce (and later edit) a TTT webcast like Chris did for this episode, please email Paul Allison or Susan Ettenheim.)

Here’s how Chris Sloan describes his thinking for the live webcast:

The authors of “Code of Practices for Fair Use in Media Education” might just as well be describing me, when they write, “Most ‘copyright education’ that educators and learners have encountered has been shaped by the concerns of commercial copyright holders, whose understandable concern about large-scale copyright piracy has caused them to equate any unlicensed use of copyrighted material with stealing.”  While the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education was published more than a year ago, I still have questions about how it applies to my own teaching and to my students’ digital compositions.  And I don’t think I’m alone either.  So I thought having a chat with Renee Hobbs and Troy Hicks, two people who’ve thought a lot about this, might help me (and other teachers like me) think through the copyright doctrine of fair use.


We asked Renee to talk about her background, how she got to this place where she is, a media educator at Temple University.  In November 2008, educators were introduced to the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, by Renee Hobbs, Peter Jaszi, and Patricia Auferheide.  We also asked her how and why the three of them created this code? Troy Hicks wrote a book The Digital Writing Workshop and an article “Transforming our understanding of copyright and fair use”.  Given that he had written a book that advocates how to teach digital writing, we are happy to have his thoughts on Renee’s work during this podcast.

  • At the end of the section, “What is transformative use?” Troy writes: “If we as educators can invite our students to think critically about their use of copyrighted materials in the process of creating their own digital compositions, and help them understand what it means to build on the work of another in a transformative way, then we can open up thought-provoking discussions about how we compose in the 21st century.”  Can you say more about that Troy?  How does that look in your own teaching?

Now some teachers might not think that this document pertains to them because we might not all understand the title and/or the concept of “Fair Use,” but one of the things I notice pretty quickly about the document (on page 2) is that media literacy is often embedded in other subject areas.  Additionally the description of Media Literacy Education seems to describe what students do in Youth Voices a lot of the time, and what more students will be doing the more they create digital compositions.

  • ML is the capacity to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages in a wide variety of forms
  • ML responds to the demands of cultural participation in the 21st century
  • ML like all literacy includes both receptive and productive dimensions
  • media can influence beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors and the democratic process

The Guide addresses… “the transformative use of copyrighted materials in media literacy educations that can flourish only with a robust understanding of fair use….  The Supreme Court has pointed out that fair use keeps copyright from violating the First Amendment….  Fair use helps ensure that people have access to the information they need to fully participate as citizens.  The fair use doctrine allows users to make use of copyrighted works without permission or payment when the benefit to society outweighs the cost to the copyright holder.”“for any particular field lawyers and judges consider expectations and practice in assessing what is ‘fair’ within that field.  So in essence we’re talking specifically about fair use in an educational setting, about how fair use applies to student digital compositions published on the Internet – Youth Voices.The Fair use Doctrine (section 107) of the Copyright Act of 1976 states that the use of copyrighted material “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” is not infringement.In weighing the balance at the heart of fair use analysis, judges refer to four types of considerations mentioned in the law.

  • the purpose of the use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the original work
  • and the effect of the use on the market for the original

In recent years, legal scholars have found that courts return again and again to two questions in deciding if a particular use of a copyrighted work is a fair use

  • did the unlicensed use “transform” the material taken from the copyrighted work by using it for a different purpose than that of the original, or did it just repeat the work for the same intent and value as the original?
  • was the material taken appropriate in kind and amount, considering the nature of the copyrighted work and of the use?

Applying the doctrine of fair use requires a reasoning process, not a list of hard-and-fast rules.  It requires users to consider the context and situation of each use of copyrighted work.  So we want you to join us. We’ll present a couple of cases from our work on Youth Voices.

Click Read more to see a transcript of a chat that was happening during the webcast.

 20:48:32 Paul Allison: http://paulallison.tumblr.com/post/354765893/renee-hobbs-and-troy-hicks-...
20:49:40 Paul Allison: http://mediaeducationlab.com/about/renee-hobbs
20:50:10 Paul Allison: http://digitalwritingworkshop.ning.com/
20:50:15 Paul Allison: http://www.corwin.com/booksProdDesc.nav?contribId=611599&prodId=Book234088
20:58:11 SusanEttenheim: hi gail can you hear us?
20:58:27 Gail Desler: Not yet, but let me open my player
20:59:01 Gail Desler: Nope, don't hear a thing
20:59:17 SusanEttenheim: ok we should be broadcasting now
20:59:21 SusanEttenheim: edtechtalk A
20:59:32 LangLabCindy: Sound was fine, but now don't hear anything.
20:59:42 SusanEttenheim: hi langlabcindy
20:59:48 LangLabCindy: hi
20:59:57 SusanEttenheim: welcome! where and what do you teach?
21:00:28 LangLabCindy: i'm an academic tech facilitator at an independent high school in St. Louis
21:00:58 SusanEttenheim: welcome!
21:01:22 LangLabCindy: thanks!  should i be hearing something?
21:04:09 SusanEttenheim: hi soccerdebla!
21:04:12 SusanEttenheim: hi fred!
21:04:23 SusanEttenheim: please introduce yourself - where and what do you teach?
21:04:34 Fred Haas: Hi Susan
21:05:12 SusanEttenheim: soccerdebla - where and what do you teach?
21:05:57 LangLabCindy: Susan, are you with AALF?
21:06:09 SusanEttenheim: yikes ... what is aalf?
21:06:37 LangLabCindy: Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation - thought your name sounded familiar...
21:07:11 Troy Hicks: Idea from Renee -- exploring media as persuasive forms
21:07:16 SusanEttenheim: ahh nope
21:07:31 SusanEttenheim: ah ha troy I heard that too ...
21:07:36 Paul Allison: I think all the fair use / creative commons / digital rights stuff keeps shifting for me... think about what it looks like for students.
21:07:53 Troy Hicks: Reminds me, in a way, of Adbusters: https://www.adbusters.org/
21:08:52 Gail Desler: Ah, I have audio now:-)
21:08:56 soccerdebla: @Susan, I am in southwest Louisiana and am currently sitting out the first year of returement.  I taught middle school and high school English
21:08:57 SusanEttenheim: great gail
21:09:11 SusanEttenheim: welcome soccerdebla!
21:09:41 Gail Desler: Just had email from teacher asking for royalty-free, copyright free images of Haiti...hmmm
21:10:21 Paul Allison: http://mediaeducationlab.com/about/renee-hobbs
21:13:54 SusanEttenheim: hi connie! welcome!
21:13:57 Paul Allison: http://digitalwritingworkshop.ning.com/
21:14:08 SusanEttenheim: please introduce yourself! where and what do you teach?
21:14:19 SusanEttenheim: (trick question for you ;)
21:14:21 Connie Sitterley: Hi Susan-glad I noticed the tweets about the topic tonight
21:14:33 LangLabCindy: Can someone please give some examples of TRANSF
21:14:51 LangLabCindy: ORMATIVE - oops - fingers slipped!
21:15:07 Connie Sitterley: I am Connie Sitterley and I am a retired Director of Instructional Tech-now doing some staff development consultation
21:15:42 Fred Haas: I am a HS English teacher in the Boston suburbs
21:17:25 SusanEttenheim: Fred - do I remember that you teach at VHS ?
21:17:30 SusanEttenheim: Today is my first day!
21:18:32 LangLabCindy: Had a wonderfully successful copyright lesson with students in a drama class - approached it from the standpoint of their being creators and deciding how others can use their creative works.  Much better than what you cannot do!
21:18:34 Fred Haas: @Susan -  You got it right. Congratulations! You are starting just as they are going to switch to a new course management software in the fall.
21:18:51 Paul Allison: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unitednationsdevelopmentprogramme/
21:19:25 LangLabCindy: www.copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com is a resource I share with our teachers and students.
21:19:45 Troy Hicks: Renee -- copyright protects both the creator and the user rights
21:19:58 minhaaj: Wheres the stream
21:20:01 Fred Haas: Great point. Creative Commons is not about fair use. It is about expanding the opportunities for getting permission.
21:20:27 SusanEttenheim: hi minhaaj welcome! please introduce yourself - where and what do you teach?
21:20:41 Troy Hicks: Renee -- educators can claim fair use through a process of critical reasoning
21:21:00 SusanEttenheim: minhaaj - edtech talk A
21:21:10 minhaaj: I dont teach at the moment. I used to teach English. I am studying for Masters in Management Sweden atm.
21:22:41 Gail Desler: Thanks, Rene. I'll send your answer on to the teacher. And, yes, how you tell the story of Haiti without visually showing the devastation?!
21:23:28 Gail Desler: "in line linking" ok, adding that one to my word bank
21:24:17 Fred Haas: On some level, it seems like Creative Commons offers a kind of legal comfort for using material that is not your own. It offers a safe choice.
21:25:10 SusanEttenheim: yes fred but say for instance your are talking about a famous photographer - would you have to find creative commons images of that photographer's work? ... not possible...
21:25:23 SusanEttenheim: welcome vstokes! please introduce yourself
21:25:26 SusanEttenheim: welcome maureen
21:25:41 SusanEttenheim: maureen and vstokes - where and what do you teach?
21:25:45 Maureen: Hi Susan
21:25:52 vstokes: Hi Susan,
21:25:54 chris sloan: example: http://youthvoices.net/node/7174
21:26:04 SusanEttenheim: hi joel welcome!
21:26:06 Maureen: I teach grade 4-9 computer  in the lovely Berkshires of MA
21:26:08 vstokes: I am a librarian in Missouri.
21:26:25 joelmalley: Hello...English Teacher, high school, outside buffal
21:26:26 joelmalley: o
21:26:53 Fred Haas: @Susan - Right, but you might not need to find a CC image of a famous photographers work. It really depends on how you are planning to use the image.
21:26:56 SusanEttenheim: snow in buffalo?
21:27:05 LangLabCindy: Key point that citing and permission are different things...hard concepts for folks to understand.
21:27:45 SusanEttenheim: how true langlabcindy
21:27:53 Maureen: My middle school kids think anything goes if you cite it- not understanding that you have to have permission to use it
21:28:06 SusanEttenheim: Fred - it's nice if you're talking about an image... to see it..
21:28:35 SusanEttenheim: humm attribution... vs...
21:28:56 joelmalley: @susan...a little bit...not too much, supposed to get some tomorrow
21:29:15 SusanEttenheim: maureen - snow there?
21:29:25 Paul Allison: So the kids who say that if it's on the Internet I can use it are right?
21:29:28 Fred Haas: @Susan - You should be able to use it without fear, especially if you are using it in a classroom setting that is transformational in nature, meaning you are using it as a tool for the study of composition or similar purposes.
21:29:33 Maureen: Just a few flurries now and then. Maybe a bit tomorrow.
21:31:17 SusanEttenheim: yes fred, I agree
21:31:19 Fred Haas: I am esperiencing this complexity in earnest now that I am teaching a journalism class, as well as a typical English class. Beginning to explain some of the norms of different discourse communities offers a good view of students' heads spinning!
21:31:38 Maureen: I had 6th graders who wanted to use the Life photos on google images for a project. I said no, since it wasn't transformative use... still tend to go for safe vs sorry.
21:31:45 SusanEttenheim: @fred so I don't really mind leaving BB - are you doing the d2l early learner thing..?
21:33:01 SusanEttenheim: maureen - do you have skype?
21:33:18 Maureen: Just a timeline use
21:33:20 minhaaj: I am having problem with stream
21:33:20 SusanEttenheim: hi vitmarchik welcome cbruckner and minhaaj again
21:33:26 minhaaj: Wouldnt play
21:33:28 LangLabCindy: Doesn't it depend on the project - where will it go?
21:33:30 SusanEttenheim: use edtechtalk A
21:33:38 Maureen: They are working on a timeline for the olympics...
21:33:39 minhaaj: thats what i am doing
21:33:52 SusanEttenheim: what platform are you using?
21:33:59 minhaaj: windows
21:34:06 Fred Haas: @Susan - I was just looking into that today. I haven't decided. I may end up taking a new PD course in the next round, and apparently they are shifting all of their PD courses to D2L. So I may get my first experience that way. I am still investigating.
21:34:13 Gail Desler: Whose slideshow?
21:34:21 SusanEttenheim: humm what is your audio player - it should open easily there... when you click on edtech talk A
21:34:29 Troy Hicks: Maureen -- so, in what ways were they using the images in the timeline?
21:34:35 SusanEttenheim: yes fred
21:34:51 minhaaj: well it worked fine with vlc previously
21:34:58 Troy Hicks: As Renee is saying now -- does the benefit to society outweigh the cost to the copyright holder
21:35:00 minhaaj: when i did shows on ETT
21:35:18 Maureen: Just as images to represent athletes, posters, etc... of the different years.
21:35:21 Troy Hicks: My question -- how big a brush stroke do we have to paint in order to "prove" benefit to society
21:35:51 Troy Hicks: How "big" is "society" -- one classroom? one student?
21:35:51 minhaaj: ok got it.
21:36:03 SusanEttenheim: great
21:36:40 SusanEttenheim: minhaaj and vitmarchik and cbruckner - please introduce yourself! where and what do you teach?
21:37:11 Maureen: @Troy good question. In my case I thought it was just to illustrate and altho there was no damage to Life magazine, no real social benefit that I could see
21:37:13 minhaaj: Ok again. I used to teach English and Management. I am studying for a Masters in management in Sweden atm hough
21:37:19 Troy Hicks: @Maureen -- I would imaging that if they are putting those images on a timeline, annotating major events, and aiming it at an audience of their peers, it seems that Renee would argue that this would be considered fair use.
21:37:33 SusanEttenheim: welcome again...!
21:37:43 Troy Hicks: @Maureen -- what "benefit" came from building and sharing the timeline?
21:37:51 minhaaj: thx
21:37:59 Troy Hicks: Was there a benefit? If so, in what ways?
21:38:10 Maureen: They are working on a collaborative project with other classes around the world
21:38:12 Troy Hicks: (I would argue that their probably was benefit...)
21:38:33 Troy Hicks: @Maureen -- seems like fair use to me... but, ask Renee!
21:39:11 Maureen: @Troy- I guess I think that there are other sources- cc sources that they can use without stretching
21:39:38 Fred Haas: Can we discuss music a little bit? I remember sitting in Renee's presentation in Philly (awesome, by the way) and music use emerging as a very sticky area, where things get even trickier.
21:40:32 minhaaj: What about the Professor who thought it might infringe his copyrights if students took notes ? :)
21:40:54 SusanEttenheim: ahh minhaaj that's great!
21:41:26 Troy Hicks: @Maureen -- as someone else mentioned, I think, we are looking at Creative Commons as another mode of copyright protection, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to the academic idea of citation.
21:43:40 minhaaj: thats exactly my students do. everything on internet is theirs :)
21:43:44 Gail Desler: Google now has advanced search option to check for non-licensed images
21:44:11 LangLabCindy: Doesn't it depend on the project - given to the teacher, shown in class - if that's all then FU applies.  If sharing outside the 4walls, then...
21:44:45 LangLabCindy: @Gail - wish Google would make it easier to find that option!
21:44:55 Maureen: I have the kids use images that are licensed for reuse- if it doesn't say it can be reused, I assume that it cannot, unless there is a "transformative" use.
21:45:20 Gail Desler: You're right, since many teachers/students don't use the advanced search option
21:46:21 LangLabCindy: @Maureen - sounds like a good plan!
21:46:26 Fred Haas: The whole inline linking and reblogging phenomenon does seem like a pretty subversive practice in this context.
21:46:28 minhaaj: To me, very idea of someone having an 'intellectual property' is asinine.
21:46:56 LangLabCindy: @minhaaj - Really?  why?
21:47:14 SusanEttenheim: say more minhaaj
21:47:31 minhaaj: I fortunately come from another part of the world where thankfully people don't believe in silly ideas like copyrights :)
21:47:47 SusanEttenheim: hi jack welcome!
21:48:05 Fred Haas: Isn't the very nature of our notion of authorship shifting and changing as we speak?
21:49:28 Maureen: @Fred- it surely seems to be shifting. I can clearly explain plagiarism to kids, can talk about attribution, but when I start posting their work online- the whole distribution piece makes me stop and rethink and question
21:49:41 SusanEttenheim: how true
21:50:56 Maureen: But almost every site has a TOS... ie youtube, etc.
21:51:33 SusanEttenheim: welcome mstejm -
21:51:39 LangLabCindy: I'm a bit lost - can you please explain that again?
21:51:42 SusanEttenheim: where and what do you teach?
21:51:55 Gail Desler: Ewa is that you?
21:51:58 SusanEttenheim: which part langlabcindy?
21:52:12 LangLabCindy: the giving up of FU rights via subscriptions
21:52:14 [email protected]: Yup, it's Ewa. How are you, Gail?
21:52:32 Gail Desler: Great - and really enjoying this conversation!
21:52:43 [email protected]: Since my husband Patrick and I publish in copyright, we're very interested in this conversation
21:53:11 SusanEttenheim: mstejm - please introduce yourself! where and what do you teach?
21:53:21 Fred Haas: @Paul - when some of them start going out of business
21:53:26 Maureen: I find the whole copyright thing getting more confused. I've read over the material on saying end of copyright confusion, but then we go to use "royalty free music" and it's not free...
21:53:31 [email protected]: Patrick teaches college communications and Ewa teaches language and literacy
21:53:46 SusanEttenheim: welcome!
21:53:50 [email protected]: Thanks
21:54:07 SusanEttenheim: which state?
21:54:14 [email protected]: Georgia
21:54:20 SusanEttenheim: ahh welcome!
21:55:11 minhaaj: yea its interesting...
21:55:18 minhaaj: We had this case study at university which said...
21:55:37 minhaaj: This case is licensed to our university from harvard busines school and you are not supposed to copy it or take notes on it.
21:55:41 minhaaj: which was hilarious.
21:56:16 [email protected]: Welcome to the vociferous defense of one's copyright ownership. Information as property.
21:56:30 SusanEttenheim: hi tunaguy welcome!
21:58:01 tunaguy: Thanks, Susan
21:58:14 [email protected]: I appreciate what the speaker is saying, and i agree completely about balance, but the J.K. Rowlings of the world are making too much money to let their intellectual output be "free." Even for educators.
21:58:31 LangLabCindy: And copyright law knows no age, right?  
21:58:42 chris sloan: http://youthvoices.net/node/24636
21:58:44 Maureen: But in the same way they are the first generation of "creators" who grew up thinking everything online is free
21:59:01 [email protected]: Well, of course, the copyright term has been lengthened excessively, as Lawrence Lessig argued in Eldred v. Ashcroft.
22:00:02 minhaaj: Its sad that we learned nothing from classical case of Eldred v. Ashcroft and we got creative commons.
22:00:14 Fred Haas: @mstejm - the extensions are what has basically rendered copyright as the Mickey Mouse law
22:00:25 [email protected]: Yes, indeed.
22:01:53 [email protected]: Creative Commons is a nice resource; I wish there were more like it.
22:02:38 LangLabCindy: mstejm - check out www.copyrightfriendly.wikispaces.com
22:03:09 LangLabCindy: Renee - are these process questions posted somewhere?
22:04:20 [email protected]: Thanks. I bookmarked copyright friendly.
22:05:01 Troy Hicks: http://copyrightconfusion.wikispaces.com/
22:05:41 Troy Hicks: And here is the Reasoning form she mentioned: http://copyrightconfusion.wikispaces.com/Reasoning
22:07:32 Gail Desler: The reasoning form is a great resource and activity!
22:07:43 LangLabCindy: Thanks, Troy!
22:07:44 minhaaj: Nice discussion. have to leave though. have fun. tc
22:08:47 Fred Haas: I had to do that very thing last semester with one of the projects I was doign with a class. This semester, I will bust it all open a little more.
22:08:52 Gail Desler: Great discussion tonight.  Thanks everyone
22:08:55 Maureen: I had my middle school kids do their project on "space" since most of the NASA images they had access to are in the public domain and I could avoid dealing with it
22:08:55 [email protected]: If something is in the public domain, then issues of use become ethical, rather than legal. As long as one transforms it in some meaningful way, then all's right with the world. I think any ethical person would be sure to attribute some part of it to the original creator
22:09:02 Paul Allison: http://www.corwin.com/booksProdDesc.nav?contribId=611599&prodId=Book234088
22:09:06 LangLabCindy: We try to have the teachers understand that copyright is not a check-off item - it is a process.
22:10:01 Maureen: For those of us who were used to the list- 30 secs of this 200 words, etc... it is a big change.
22:10:34 Troy Hicks: @Maureen -- indeed, a major change!
22:10:46 LangLabCindy: Thanks, all!
22:11:03 Connie Sitterley: Went thru the form with a group of teachers and they mostly said-This takes too long-I won't do this-I don't have time- I will just keep doing what I have done-But thanks for the resource because we need to keep on this
22:11:10 Maureen: Renee is going to be at educon- oh good!
22:11:24 Maureen: Thank you
22:11:29 [email protected]: Yes, it is regrettable that so many people were under the impression that there were hard and fast rules of proportion, like 20 seconds or some other period was "OK. The law NEVER had such rules.
22:11:32 SusanEttenheim: thanks everyone for joining us
22:11:39 Fred Haas: Thanks for everything all. Good night.
22:12:12 [email protected]: Thanks for the great conversation!
22:23:00 dude: is anybody ther?