Friday, July 13, 2007

346.7304 Free Doesn't Always Mean Free to Use: Copyright Issues on the Web

With summer more than half over, all of us will begin thinking about lessons and projects sooner than later and will be looking for resources to use in said items. Not only will we come across print information, but we will also stumble on pictures, sounds, podcasts, music and videos that may be appropriate and useful in making our points... and many of these resources may be "free"...as in it will not cost us $ to download.

STOP...as the saying goes (or at least my paraphrasing of such saying)...nothing in life is really "free!" Look at the small print...and if at first you don't see it...look again just to be sure. There may be COPYRIGHT issues attached to the resource...i.e. the owner of the material may have strings attached to the use of the material.

Case in point: Free Children's Music.com...a website full of just what its title implies...all kinds of children's songs and dittys...in Mp3 format...easy for downloading. Cute, colorful website just screaming "Bring the kids and listen!" The home page states:
This is the place for great free songs for kids! Download all the terrific
children's songs you want to. There are no guarantees how long any of them will
be here, so grab them while you can. Have fun exploring!! And don't forget to
click on the artists' names to visit their web sites!

At the bottom of the home page is an even more important statement "Hey can I use this music to..."
It is intended to be downloaded and listened to on computers, MP3 players,
custom CDs for personal listening, etc. It is NOT intended to be played on your
web site, mixed with video or graphics and posted on another web site, played in
public as warmup music for a paying audience, burned to CDs intended for resale,
used on TV shows, etc
.

The website author goes on to explain that it is not his music so he can not grant use. Anyone wanting to use it in the ways listed above should contact the actual owner of the music. Yes, email the artist and ask if the music can be put on in PPT, on a web page, in a photostory presentation, etc.

The ability to download the file does not give us the right to use it the way we want.


And those stacks of CDs we all have with all the "perfect background" music for that special welcome-back-to-school PPT program or campus TV news program aren't "free" for the using either...unless the artist/owner states so!!

Be careful...our kids are watching!

1 comment:

plkm said...

Good Stuff!
Free actually means responsibility to the greater good.