Tips for understanding copyright rules

U.S. copyright law includes five exclusive rights, but educators can use copyrighted works under the fair use practice.

With headlines about tough copyright rulings fresh in their minds, educators across the nation might hesitate when it comes to using copyrighted material in their lessons or sharing copyrighted works with students.

But according to the American Library Association (ALA), educators should not worry about using such material to boost student knowledge if it falls under the scope of fair use.

The original and intended purpose of copyright law is to promote learning and the dissemination of knowledge, said Carrie Russell, director of the library association’s Program on Public Access to Information. “The copyright law was just as important to them as the post office,” she said, adding that the founding fathers wanted to ensure that the new democracy was well-functioning and that people had access to valuable information.…Read More

Kagan’s nomination could bode well for education

President Obama and Elena Kagan discuss her nomination at the White House. Photo-AP
President Obama and Elena Kagan discuss her nomination at the White House. (AP photo)

Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s pick to fill Justice John Paul Stevens’s seat on the Supreme Court, could become a voice for education rights, thanks to her background as an esteemed professor who comes from a family of educators.

Kagan was born in New York City in 1960. Her father was a lawyer and former chairman of a community board on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, while her mother taught for many years at Hunter College Elementary School. Her two brothers are also teachers.

“My mother was a proud public school teacher, as are my two brothers—the kind of teachers whom students remember for the rest of their lives,” said Kagan during her May 10 nomination. “My parents’ lives and their memory remind me every day of the impact public service can have, and I pray every day that I live up to the example they set.”…Read More