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Center for Social Media

Center for Social Media

Written by Henry Cohn-Geltner
June 07, 2010

Center for Social Media Logo“The Center for Social Media investigate, showcase and set standards for socially engaged media-making.  We organize conferences and convenings, publish research, create codes of best practices, and incubate media strategies to help people make media that matters.”

The Center for Social Media supports educators in navigating a convergence of digital landscapes that find their way into the classroom, specifically around the use of and rearticulation of copyrighted materials by students in the production of media.  Students are increasingly performing these activities outside of the classroom and understanding what copyrighted material is acceptable to use in this capacity is important because teachers can help students make more informed and conscious decisions.

This research has led to the formation of many codes of best practice across a number of disciplines with the idea that educators are practitioners and intellectuals that have the power to contribute to the the discussion about the most important ways of doing things to contribute to advancing their own practice.

Two sets of codes of best practice relating to the use of copyrighted material in the classroom have emerged.  The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, which provides ways that users, who want to use copyrighted material in a work that they create, can do so and claim a Fair Use right, in order to distribute or disseminate their work for public consumption.  The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, created in collaboration with the Media Education Lab at Temple University, inform teachers of their rights in using copyrighted material in the classroom.

User-generated videos are creative products that are produced by the public using new media technologies readily available and are comprised of a mix of original material and material produced by others.  Sometimes this material is copyrighted and this fact acts as a deterrent to further production due to threat of intervention by authorities.  The video and report, Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video, highlight ways that those participating in new media creation using copyrighted material can continue legally.

The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy presents interviews with teachers about limits placed on them in attempts to use copyrighted materials in class and reports on the harms that exist if teachers are not made aware of the rights that exist for them to use copyrighted material in classrooms.

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