Monday, April 27, 2009

Copyright for Teachers and Librarians

Butler, Rebecca P. Copyright for Teachers and Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004. ISBN 1-55570-500-6

Scenario 1: You send an email and someone else posts it on a listserv. Does that violate copyright?

Scenario 2: You teach science and run across a website with a great list of links about the weather. Can you copy that list for your students, or does that violate copyright?

Scenario 3: You get a new student today, but the math workbook you order for him will not arrive for at least a week. Can you copy the pages from another student's workbook in the meantime, or does that violate copyright?

For straightforward answers to these questions and clear definitions of such concepts as fair use and public domain, read this book. -- Jen

School Library Journal Review:
If you've been looking for a thorough but easy-to-figure-out handbook on copyright law and how to do your job and stay legal, you may hereby shout, "Eureka!" Butler has succeeded in classifying, clarifying, and demystifying every conceivable type of situation you might find yourself in and then provides answers, in simple flow-chart form, for handling them. The five chapters in Part I are thorough reviews of copyright law, the concept of fair use, determining what is in public domain, how to obtain permissions, and other general guidelines on such topics as licensing, loaning, penalties, plagiarism, and exemptions. The bulk of the book is in Part II, which deals with specific applications, such as Internet and public access, videos and DVDs, television, software, music, multimedia, distance learning and–oh, yes!–print! Each chapter follows the same format (including end notes and references), providing clarity and ease of access, and more than 60 flow charts provide pathways to follow in various situations. In the unlikely event your situation is missed, you'll find out how to find it on any of the Internet sites provided for further research. An indispensable addition.–Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA