The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy

by Renee Hobbs, Peter Jaszi & Pat Aufderheide

The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy (PDF), based on scores of longform interviews with teachers, shows that the fundamental goals of media literacy education—to cultivate critical thinking and expression about media and its social role—are compromised by unnecessary copyright restrictions. As a result of poor guidance, counterproductive guidelines, and fear, teachers use less effective teaching techniques, teach and transmit erroneous copyright information, fail to share innovative instructional approaches, and do not take advantage of new digital platforms.

This is not only unfortunate but unnecessary, since copyright law permits a wide range of uses of copyrighted material without permission or payment. However, educators today have no consensus around what constitutes acceptable fair use practices. The report concludes with a call for educators to develop a consensus around their interpretation of their most valuable copyright tool: fair use.

To read about the report launch event and panel discussionclick here.