Sunday, October 19, 2008

Why Should We Care?

While it is true that many copyright violations go unnoticed in schools, there is still a chance that your school may be found guilty of violation copyright policies. Usually a publisher of a book or software will contact your school with a notice of the violation. This may lead to legal action upon the school district. However, there are more serious implications that may occur to individuals within the school. Those who are involved may be found guilty of copyright infringement and may face serious penalties. These penalties can include fines of anywhere from $750 to $30,000 per work. But, who is responsible for copyright violations within the school? Usually liability begins with the teacher. The teacher may choose to use a work within the classroom without permission or outside the range of fair use. The teacher may also be aware of students who are misusing copyright. If he or she does not do anything to stop it, the teacher can be held responsible. Also, the technician may be held responsible. If the technician is monitoring computer use and notices activity that violates copyright, then the technician must stop the activity. If the activity is not stopped, the technician may be held responsible. Next is the librarian. Many times copyright violation takes place within the library. The librarian must monitor activities and ensure that copyright policies are being upheld. Finally, the principal may also be held responsible. The principal should be aware of activities going on within the school. He or she should set up a copyright policy and ensure that the policy is being enforced. All of the above named may be found guilty of infringement. This is why it is so important for media specialists to make other aware of copyright policies and to report violations to the principal. I never knew that copyright was such a huge issue. The person who misuses the information is not the only person responsible. What do you think about the implications of infringement?


Alicia said...

If various positions have attempted to resolve the copyright violation (i.e. the media specialist, technology specialist, etc.) and the infringement continues, I think ultimately the principal becomes the person who is liable, assuming that these other positions have informed him/her of the violation. It is the principal who is responsible for ensuring legal compliance of a staff member under his/her jurisdiction. I'm not sure if this is law, but it only makes sense that if other staff members have reasonably attempted to resolve the situation to no avail, the principal is the boss who becomes responsible for ending the violation(s).

Chris said...

I, too, think that after speaking to the suspected violators, and the issue has not been resolved, notifying the administration of possible violations of copyright law is the next step. Then it is up to the administration to handle the problem. We as media specialists can only do so much.

Brandi W. said...

That is a great point. Simpson says that the library media specialist should not be the copyright police. That would create tension among the school staff. However, as the media specialists, we must protect the interests of our school by reporting known violations to the principle.

Mrs. Templeton said...

I think a good balance for any media specialist is to provide copyright education for students and faculty. Taking preventative measures may help to alleviate any tension that could possibly arise due to copyright issues.

Copyright isn't a huge issue at my school (not to say it isn't a huge problem) because of budget constraints. I think if money wasn't an issue, copyright would be focused upon much more closely. However, because the budgets in education are continually cut, a blind eye is often turned to the abundance of photocopying etc. that goes on during a school year.

Jessica Modrzejewski said...

I am impressed by your blog -- updated, comments -- great content. Watch using colored text -- hard to read. Also, keep your posts short and sweet -- let your readers continue it with comments.
Nice job!
Mrs. M.