Copyright is literally a dirty word in some school settings. It is a commonly held belief that as long as one is not making a profit by copying intellectual property, it is not infringing on copyright or fair use laws. The fact of the matter is that ignorance is bliss. I’m not saying that the responsibility is to police or lecture school staff on the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement, but I’m also NOT saying that we should turn a blind eye.
Bishop (2007) states that “your [library] manual should include a statement noting that media center personnel uphold the U.S. copyright laws and fair use guidelines” (p. 15) but she goes on to state that media specialists should not be “copyright cops”(p. 15). Bishop also suggests that media specialists “include how copyright information is provided to users (p. 15) and ensure that any license agreement that they negotiate follow copyright law (p. 209).
I would like to suggest an acronym/slogan for teacher librarians. Copyright, it’s all about MEA.
M odel, by following copyright laws.
E ducate, maybe it’s a “fun” (ha-ha) copyright fact of the week in the staff newsletter. However you do it, slip it in like zucchini in chocolate chip muffins; good for you but subtle!
A dvocate, for adequate resources and fair-dealing rights to works so colleagues aren’t forced to disobey copyright law to provide the best possible resources for their student’s needs.
For additional information and resources (not just my blah, blah, blah opinion) check out Cynthia Peterson's blog, post titled, "Copyright or Copywrong?"
Bishop, K. (2007). The collection program in schools. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.
Peterson, C. (2011) Copyright or copywrong? Retrieved from http://cjpeterso.edublogs.org/2010/03/06/copyright/