Save the Prize – Cha-Ching Version

Part of my class at Full Sail University involves issues of Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons. One of the videos I share is about the difficulty a particular video documentarian is having securing the rights so that he can share his documentary “Eyes on the Prize”

The video prompted the following video response by one of my students (and my response to his video):

My video response:

* Eyes on the Fair Use of the Prize directed and produced by Jacob Caggiano/Center for Social Media, retrieved on 10/22/2009

* Save the Prize by Seann Goodman/OnOttButton, article at, video at retrieved on 10/22/2009.

* Save the Prize – Cha-Ching Version by Joe Bustillos, retrieved on 10/22/2009.

Convergence Culture: The Power of Media in the Hands of Users

Jenkin’s “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide” is part of my course reading and students are always finding great videos of Jenkins on the Interwebs. Here’s a great one that sums it his take on the evolution of media and what it means for the culture and the media industry. Thanks Seann G.

The Creative Commons Solution

Part three of my three part media merry-go-round: Creative Commons (Part 1: Copyright; Part 2: Fair-Use; Part 3: Creative Commons). After I’ve scared them to death with the all powerful Copyright, and confused them with the slippery Fair-Use, it’s time calm the nerves with a little common sense Creative Commons. I wish it was really that simple. So, as before the following is the ongoing working prototype for part 3:
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So What the Heck is Fair Use & How’s It Suppose to Protect My Butt

mouseguySo now I’m working on step two of my three part media merry-go-round: Fair-Use (Part 1: Copyright; Part 2: Fair-Use; Part 3: Creative Commons). It’s hard to talk about one without talking about the others. We talked about Copyright last week, but whenever the conversation shifted to usage than Fair-Use and Creative Commons were ready to take up the call. If anything I think I pumped up the interest in what Fair-Use and Creative Commons can do to answer the dilemma presented by the ongoing Copyright controversy. So the following is the ongoing working prototype for part 2:
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Thinking Out Loud About Copyright

mouseguyThinking a lot about copyright. In my course at Full Sail I cover copyright, Creative Commons, Fair Use and netiquette related to copyright in two one-hour sessions. Well, actually session one was mostly about Creative Commons and the second session was mostly about Fair Use. I’m good but I found myself stumbling around, going back and forth to make sure that my students understood what Copyright really meant. Not smart. So, I need to redistribute the info into three sessions: 1) Copyright, 2) Fair Use and 3) Creative Commons. (Note to my current students: I’m not going to spring this change on you ’cause that would mean that you’d have to cover the following material and be ready to discuss it in less than 22-hours. Not fair). So the following is a working prototype:

(Old edm613 header here)

typingkid: Second week Tuesday OR Thursday @ 8:30 pm EST (you only need to attend one session per week)Intro to Copyright


Pre-Session Videos & Information: Please make sure to preview the following videos and read through the information listed below before our session together

Copyright Basics:
Definition of Copyright:
* Permanently fixed work that can be seen or heard
* Only copyright owner can use the work

What can be Copyrighted:
* books
* plays
* films/movies
* dance
* music

Copyright Duration
* lifetime + 70 years – company 100 years

10 Myths About Copyright Explained by Brad Templeton
1. “If it doesn’t have a copyright notice, it’s not copyrighted.”
2. “If I don’t charge for it, it’s not a violation.”
3. “If it’s posted to Usenet it’s in the public domain.”
4. “My posting was just fair use!”
5. “If you don’t defend your copyright you lose it.”
6. “If I make up my own stories, but base them on another work, my new work belongs to me.”
7. “They can’t get me, defendants in court have powerful rights!”
8. “Oh, so copyright violation isn’t a crime or anything?”
9. “It doesn’t hurt anybody — in fact it’s free advertising.”
10. “They e-mailed me a copy, so I can post it.”
11. “So I can’t ever reproduce anything?”

Please go to Templeton’s site and review his essay and comments. We will be discussing his comments during our wimba session.

This optional last video, Good Copy/Bad Copy, is a one-hour documentary on the controversy around issues of copyright and new media. Warning: This video contains “adult language” and disturbing images.

Wimba Instructions:

  1. Please make sure you have your headset plugged in and on. I will be turning on the video cam, so have a light on and a smile on your face.
  2. Please look at pre-session videos and information listed above. We will be discussing Copyright. Hint: If you don’t know what these words mean, you might want to do a little research on these words.
  3. Go to our Wimba site at: and go to the EMDT MAC Virtual Classroom
  4. Be Prepared to discuss this week’s activities & project
  5. Course Q&A/Open discussion

Finally, please make every effort to be here – we benefit from each others’ input, questions and concerns. If you cannot attend the expectation is that you will review the archive of the session and then create a blog entry with the title: “Week X Wimba session X” and write a paragraph (minimum 5 sentences) about your thoughts or comments on the archived session. For attendees the blog entry is optional. Both attendees & non-attendees please make sure to click the DONE button at the bottom of this page.

Youtube video: What is a Copyright? by Nathan Boehme/Expert Village, retrieved on 6/8/2009

Youtube video: How to Copyright : Learn What Cannot Be Protected Under Copyright Law by Nathan Boehme/Expert Village, retrieved on 6/8/2009

10 Myths About Copyright Explained by Brad Templeton, retrieved on 6/8/2009 video: Good Copy, Bad Copy Directed by ANDREAS JOHNSEN, RALF CHRISTENSEN, HENRIK MOLTKE (, retrieved on 6/8/2009

Roll Over Beethoven and Copy… Right!

Part of my course at Full Sail is about media issues, you know, stuff like Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons. The “M” in our program title (EMDT) is Media and my students, who are in their ninth month of a year long Masters degree program, are expected to stare down this huge subject and come up with a reasonable approach to something that I tell them occupies the life’s work of an army of lawyers, policymakers and troublemakers. As I lay down guiding principles to understanding the moving target that is Copyright/Fair Use/Creative Commons the discussions tend to be quite lively and informative for all participants. One thing that I’ve never fully appreciated is how difficult and expensive it can be for teachers who want to follow copyright law who teach band, or theater or any of the other arts.

One teacher wrote in her class blog:
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Obama “Hope” Image vs. One Lost Shephard

Another day, another Fair Use issue in the headlines. After working with my graduate students over the past six months I’m left with the feeling that most of them approach the subject of copyright as something that the big media companies hold over their heads, preventing them from using the music that they want in their videos or images on their websites. It’s an eye-opening experience for them to realize that there are options for them to use, such as creative commons, where they can find quality media and stay well clear of the gray area that is copyright law. Good times. I cover copyright and Fair Use over two sessions every month and by the end everyone knows that Fair Use is not a right but can be used as a defense if/when one is sued for a copyright violation. Or course none of my students want to be anywhere near a court, having to defend themselves versus some scary media conglomerate.

Then the last week of February, as if I needed a textbook case on Fair Use, I stumbled across an NPR interview of the artist, Shephard Fairey, who was behind President Obama’s “Hope” poster that rose to iconic status during the election. Seems that the Associated Press was threatening to sue Fairey for the use of the photograph that he used to create his poster. Just before NPR ran the story Fairey decided to beat AP to the punch and sue AP claiming that his use of the photo was covered under Fair Use. To make things even more complicated, the photographer, Mannie Garcia, is suing AP claiming that he was a freelancer and not an AP employee when he shot the disputed photo and therefore he is entitled to compensation from this litigation. Let’s say it together: Fair Use is not a right but a defensible position. Again, Fair Use is not a right but a defensible position.

I asked photographer and TWiT contributer, Scott Bourne, his take on the case (via Twitter) and he said,

“I think the artist stole the photo and his fair use claim will end up costing him treble damages. All depends on whether AP owns pic.”

When NPR’s Terry Gross asked the photographer of the Obama image, Mannie Garcia, his take on Fairey using his photograph he said, “[It’s] crucial for people to understand, simply because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean that it’s free for the taking, and that just because you can take it, means that it belongs to you.”

A cursory survey of opinions online from the likes of Milton Glaser on BoingBoing, Mark Vallen on Art-for-Change, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and Chal Pivik on the Los Angeles METBlogs, seems to show that the more the pundit knows about the actual steps or changes to the photo that Fairey made to create the poster the more likely the writer will come down on the side of Fairey’s Fair Use claim. Finally, NPR did an excellent job covering all of the angles of the story, finishing up with a discussion with law professor Greg Lastowka on the case and Fair Use. Click the player below for the complete NPR recording.

Please go to the following link for the NPR interview: NPR: Fresh Air: Shepard Fairey: Inspiration Or Infringement?

Los Angeles Times Video: Hope: Shepard Fairey and Barack Obama

Postscript: Had my research on this story ended with the NPR piece I would have been left with a different image of Shepherd Fairey than the one I gained via a series of videos that were created long before Obama campaign, when Fairey’s main claim to fame was his “Andre the Giant: Obey!” world-wide sticker/poster/street art project. Fifteen-plus arrests later for “street art” activities and it’s little wonder that he’d be a media darling while at the same time being in trouble for taking someone’s else’s photograph and not thinking twice about using it to make the Obama: Hope image. When he says, “Icon” for the G4 series of the same name, implying his own status in the art/street culture world, I’m put off by the arrogance and willingness to play both sides of the media. When all of this plays out the title of his next video might be, “Shepherd Fairey: Oops.”

Obama photo: Mannie Garcia (AP)/Obama image: Shepherd Fairey, retrieved from on 04/09/2009

Shepard Fairey: Inspiration Or Infringement? NPR Fresh Air interview, retrieved from on 02/27/2009

Hope: Shepard Fairey and Barack Obama – Los Angeles Time interview/video retrieved from on 04/07/2009

ICONS: Shepard Fairey, YouTube video retrieved from on 04/07/2009

Copyright This!

Since the very first month of teaching my graduate media course at Full Sail University my students have struggled with the vagueness and conflicting messages surrounding the topics of copyright and fair use. Tasking educators, many of whom are very new to online anything, to creating an unending number of audio podcasts, videos, blog entries and assorted media projects and then telling them that they cannot use any images, music or videos that they might find on the Internet is like inviting them to a party and then telling them that they are not permitted to having any fun. it’s downright confusing. Then for me to try to be authoritative on what is permitted and not permitted, while knowing that the subjects of copyright and fair use are life-work of an army of lawyers and policy makers, makes the whole thing downright silly.

So after one of our class sessions, one of my more media savvy students made the following comment in his blog:
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