In this text, Rice outlines the contractual and technological regulations that have been placed on the access of digital information. His argument is that information is the "common fiber of science, arts, hostory, culture, and even self," and that the press to privatize control over acces to digital information "diminishes the luster of the late-twentieth-and early-twenty-first-century opening of the information society."
Specifically Rice focuses on the implications of the privatization of control over things such cultural knowledge, including folklore, legends, and information on heritage, in cases where this information would not be legally accessible to members of the represented culture. Rice argues that the importance of the information era is the access one has to learn about the things most intimately related to him as a person.
I find this essay useful because, though it targets the wrongfulness of privatized control from a deeply personal level, the underlying question of whether all information should be accessible to everyone is also present, because within the academic arena researchers develop relationships with information that may have no relevance to their cultural backgrounds but remains as personal to them as if it did. This essay also asks its reader to think about the kind of information he would not want to be withheld from him. Though the essay doesn't specifically get at the issue of confusion over copyright and fair use issues within an academic setting, it does provide an awareness of what information may be being withheld from researchers, and forces those researchers to consider the usefulness of this kind of information to there personal projects. This kind of awareness goes hand in hand with the understanding of fair use and copyright that my thesis argues for because it emphasizes the importance of having an active and correct knowledge of fair use and copyright issues that affect university settings, in order to get the most out of ones education.
A general explanation of the issues and history surrounding copyright law and library services, this text also summarizes pending issues of copyright and the importance of having them dealt with. Many of the resources already circulating as guides for the legal use of copyrighted works for librarians and other educators are geared specifically toward face-to-face educational experiences, such as classroom settings. Even instances in which rules for online or other electronic reproductions of copyrighted works are outlined, there still seems to be a great deal of confusion about where distance education fits into these guidelines. For this reason the DMCA has suggested that the Copyright Office amend the the Copyright Act to more clearly define what constitutes a "classroom."
Other issues that are still pending include the question of whether producers of databases, which arrange lists of facts in an alphabetical or other standard form, should get added protection against laws which require "compilations" to be original both in the sense that they are not copied and that they possess some "quantum of creativity." Warwick, here, points out the importance of researchers and educators to be aware of their rights, so that we are able to continue to ensure that facts will never become protected under copyright laws. This notion helps further my argument about the importance of educators and researchers understanding their rights as well. The essay also will help me to contextualize the major issues of copyright law as they refer to library services, which I believe will help elucidate where much of the current confusion about copyright law within the academic arena stems from. The issue of database protection also brings up interesting questions about the necessity of the Copyright Office to develop laws or guidelines for all aspects of educational services or if many of these aspects should be left to interpretations of fair use.
This document was created in accordance with the "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education" released on November 11th 2008. The "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education" was developed for the purposes of advancing a greater knowledge of the doctrine of fair use for educators (including librarians) and students to help ensure that they get the most out of what resources are available to enhance their curriculums and the overall educational experience. With this goal in mind, "Teaching about Copyright and Fair Use" instructs educators on how to work issues of fair use and copyright law into current curriculums to communicate to students the importance of understanding fair use.
The guide includes lesson plans geared toward high school level students, undergraduates, and graduate students. I find it quite relevant to my own thesis, because it prioritizes the copyright issues that are most important for the public to understand. This document takes a cultural approach to appealing to educators, arguing that every student has a right to "gather, share, create and use the intellectual property that is constantly being generated in our culture." I plan to take a similar approach in my own essay, and I feel that understanding the lesson plans in this document and using them as a point of reference will ultimately strengthen the argument I make for the advancement of an awareness surrounding copyright issues that directly affect the quality of education one gives or is given.