Starting today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is sponsoring Copyright Week, which will last for six days. Each day is dedicated to one of six principles that, EFF asserts, should guide copyright policy and practice. They are, in my opinion, excellent principles, that really connect back to the original purpose of copyright as an engine for cultural growth and development.
Copyright Week begins today, and the first principle is “Transparency.” Transparency is always an important element of public policy, and recently it has been especially threatened by bilateral and multilaterial trade negotiations, which take copyright discussions out of the (relatively) public arena of lawmaking and move them to the often quite secret space where a few bureaucrats work out agreements with little regard for the overall public interest and little awareness of consequences of their agreements outside of their limited vision. That kind of negotiation and back room dealing brought us SOPA two years ago, and it is no coincidence that Copyright Week, which will end on the second anniversary of the “great SOPA blackout,” kicks off with the newest SOPA-like threat, the “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement” or TPP.
Partners in the Copyright Week program include the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries. To get the ARL’s take on TPP, please read this blog post.
The overall schedule for Copyright Week can be found here, where each day a set of links about the theme for that day will offer readers perspective on the principle for that day. You can also follow the ARL’s Policy Notes blog for the principles and links. It promises to be an interesting and informative six days; a chance for all of us to learn something and to gain a more comprehensive view of the copyright debates that are going on around us.
Policy on Electronic Course Content
For help deciding whether course content in Blackboard or some other digital form is fair use or requires copyright permission, consult this policy document adopted by the Academic Council in February 2008.
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