My own saga of Fair Practice, Fair Use, and Open Ed Resources has been years in the making.
As a faculty member, I have spent years articulating the ethic of giving credit to others’ contributions, teaching about common knowledge and citation. I was thrilled when Creative Commons came along. Then stepping into various non-academic sectors which include art and mashups, I was submerged, caught, whatever you want to call it.
I’ll begin with a personal saga. For the past four summers, I’ve invited friends over to watch jazz documentaries outside in our yard. One day as I was feeling sentimental, I thought I might make a canvas memento for our house. So I took this photo to Walmart and got this response:
They could not print it for two reasons: I was using a screen shot from the film and the use of the image was not its intended purpose and then there was the QR. I shared that the screen shot was one frame and this was for my personal use only, and that I created the QR myself (It opens to the YouTube Channel where I’ve bookmarked documentaries available on YouTube.) No dice. I would have to bring back a statement that assured the technician that I could use that one frame in a photo.
So home I went to learn more about Fair Use, which provides the guidelines for when copyrighted materials can be used by others without permission from the original creator of the work.
In the meantime, I looked up the conditions of Fair Use to confirm the conditions for my personal fair use as defined by there criteria: “purpose, nature, amount, and effect.”
1) Purpose: The piece was for my personal, non-commercial, non-educational use.
2) Nature: the use of the image from the film did not embody the central intent of the film, and it was used to create something different from the original.
3) Amount: the image on the screen was only one frame of a nearly two-hour long film.
4) Effect: This personal memento would not affect film distribution.
But I was not about to go back and re-enter the world of a narrowly-trained employee,, sympathetic as I was to her state of employment.
So I delved further and started looking for a copyright-free jazz image in the public domain.
Enter now, my introduction to Flickr Commons, and the addition of the Billy Holiday shot and the QR to this photo of the screen in my back yard, which I then sent to an online vendor who printed it onto canvas.
Look for a future post about the conditions in Flickr Commons.
Sources: (A very helpful Creative Commons 4.0 Fair Use Checklist can be found at the Columbia Site.)