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 efforts a university professor who says that increasing students’ digital literacy is a responsibility educators can’t afford to brush off.
The change is part of a new interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. copyright law that criminalizes production and dissemination of software, devices, or services intended to circumvent the digital rights management (DRM) technology that controls access to copyrighted works. The U.S. Copyright Office, a branch of the Library of Congress that meets to discuss exemptions every three years, oversees management of the DMCA.
Renee Hobbs, professor of communication at Temple University’s School of Communications and Theater, was one of a handful of educators who led a formal petition of 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 in media or film studies classes. “Ripping” is the process of copying audio or video content to a hard disk, typically from removable media.…Read More