Wednesday, October 15, 2008


If one is found guilty of copyright infringement, damages to be paid would fall under one of the following catagories: actual or statutory. Actual damages refer to actual monetary losses, and the copyright holder must prove those losses. This might happen in large piracy cases - a company pays for 1000 software licences, but actually puts the program on 5000 computers.

Statutory fines set by the court can range anywhere from $100 per instance to as much as $20,000 per instance. The lowest fine would be given to the person who honestly did not realize he was doing something wrong.

Remember that the above damages would only apply if the copyright holder actually sues. The result of being caught may only be a "cease and desist" letter, which basically tells the infringer to destroy the copies and never to do that again.

Keep checking back for more information. Next up...actual cases and their results. But not today; I just sent my midterm for the other class. I'm done!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How are copyright infringers caught?

First, let me say that now that I have read Simpson a little more, I have found some answers. As librarians, none of us wants the unpleasant job of being the "copyright police." The two agencies responsible for enforcing copyright law are the FBI and the Justice Department. But it's not like the FBI are going to come bursting into your school with guns and dogs because an English teacher makes 30 copies of a simile worksheet every year.

So how exactly do people get caught? One way is that they get turned in by someone - perhaps a disgruntled student. Or maybe an angry employee turns the district in for something. More interestingly, some sales reps are required to report any copyright infringement they see. And how many times do we see publishing company reps in the library or texbook companies in the schools? And believe it or not, also according to Simpson, there is such a thing as a "bounty hunter" who collects rewards for turning in copyright infringers.

Who knew? I certainly didn't!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A fair(y) use tale

I am going to link to a video I saw on teachertube. A fellow teacher showed me this when I told her about this project. How clever!

Hopefully the link works.

Blog Goal

When I did my fair use assignment for the other class, I thought for a second that the easiest way to complete this blog was to use the same information and just put it in a new format. But how does that really help me or anyone else? I've spent a lot of time thinking about what angle I could take on copyright law that would be unique and helpful. One question that has plagued me since I posted my information a couple weeks ago is this: just who is responsible for being the "copyright police" in the school? While I have not found a solid answer for that question, I have found some interesting answers regarding liability for copyright infringement.

In an age where copyright infringement is easy (and thus rampant), most people have very cavalier attitudes about it. My goal in this blog is to tell you why educators SHOULD care. In the next few days, watch for postings on liability, penalties, and real-life instances.

Okay, that's my idea and short introduction. While I think it is an interesting and unique angle, I have not read anyone else's blog yet, for fear that my idea has already been taken! So, if anyone in our group has already covered this, I am sorry. I will read all the others when I am done.