31 March 2007

Copyright Concerns

Today I decided to make this blog public (though not yet searchable by Google, but that could change too). Like many instructors who consider posting their work on the web, I experienced a healthy doze of paranoia as I considered the "safety" of going public with my new resources. Yet at the same time, I realized that any student taking one of my online courses could download and share my materials. I suppose I also worried that my peers would judge me out of context. However, aren't we always at the risk of being judged out of context?

To ease my mind, I decided to examine copyright laws. I ran across two helpful websites: Copyright and Fair Use hosted by Standford University Libraries and the U.S. Copyright Office website. On its FAQ's page, the U.S. Copyright Office answers the following question: “How do I protect my sightings of Elvis?” Could it get any better than that? Somehow, my question about going public with this blog no longer seemed silly and, oddly, no longer mattered. While you will find no Elvis here, you'll find a few new assignments and resources to globalize first-year college composition and literature courses, as the blog sub-title promises.

Thanks to my colleague Lawrance for suggesting the literary phrase "The Importance of Being Earnest" for the statement in the right-hand column. I think it captures the true spirit of appropriate sharing of work!


steve said...

I've only skimmed so far, but this is great! You've created real, usable resources. Really wonderful stuff. Thanks for your openness.

Hanna Erpestad said...

Thanks, Steve! I hope some of the materials will be useful to you - as comparisons, if nothing else!