Monday, 26 March 2018

Education Copyright in New Zealand

Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) has a great little video (2015b) which advises us to think of copyright as "a friendly neighbourly exchange. Meet Joe and this is his neighbour Bruce. Joe borrowed Bruce's lawnmower to cut his lawn. Another neighbour, Sarah, saw Joe mowing his lawn and asked to borrow the mower. 'Sure,' said Joe, and shared the mower with Sarah... without asking the owner, Bruce. Sarah baked a cake for Joe to say thank you". So... Joe gets the cake, while lawnmower-owner Bruce, responsible for purchasing and maintenance, gets nothing. Not fair.

CLNZ suggests that we may easily treat publications the same way. While authors are usually happy for us to enjoy work for our personal consumption, as soon as we copy or share without permission, we get into the 'not fair' category, and fall afoul of the law.

What we can use under the education 'fair use' copyright is:
  • Up to 10% of a book or 1 chapter
  • 1 article from a journal
  • 5 articles from a single newspaper
These can be circulated in hard- or soft-copy for our specific educational purpose to a specific group. So we can't share any of the above via a public blog, but we can share through a passworded website. And we can't charge for the materials unless that charge goes back to the item owner.

If we were going to use someone's thesis, we would need to get permission from the writer. If we wanted to use two chapters from a book, we would need to get permission from the publisher. 

It is a pain that we cannot put together books of materials from a range of publishers, but it becomes far too complex to negotiate with everyone involved: authors, agents, tertiary institutions, copyright lawyers and publishers...



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