Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Overall, this document (46 page PDF) offers a pretty good approach to the fair use ('fair dealing' in Canada) of copyright resources for teaching and research. And it's important; while many people think you can't use copyright materials at all in open educational resources, as "the Copyright Act of 1976 provides, 'fair use of a copyright work... is not an infringement of copyright." This document describes acceptable type of use under fair use, and what sort of notification ought to take place (for example, a declaration that 'fair use' is being invoked). While I think attribution is important, I really don't think some sort of declaration that "this is fair use" is really necessary. I think this document should have offered greater emphasis on the familiar 'four factor' test, and indeed wonder why it didn't. Instead it seems to substitute this for an emphasis on type of use (criticism and commentary, purpose of illustration, learning resource materials) and fails to make any distinction at all between commercial and non-commercial fair use, while in fact this is a significant factor in the law. So while the document serves a valuable purpose in reminding people that there's a far greater scope for fair use of copyright content, this should be your only resource on the subject.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2021 01:55 a.m.