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General Chat Thread, Copyright infringement - music?! in General; I have recently found out at my school that the music teachers during a music lesson, will sometimes provide a ...
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    Copyright infringement - music?!

    I have recently found out at my school that the music teachers during a music lesson, will sometimes provide a copy of an mp3 (usually a top 40 chart song) to the kids for a lesson. Apparently, they split the file/add other music in/generally dissect this.

    BUT, im just doing some general maintenance/cleaning up on the main file server, and having done a search for .mp3 files, I have found loads in the kids personal folders. Obviously the kids are keeping (and possibly distributing) this music.

    So, are the teachers liable for distributing illegal copies of music? Having seen the teachers PC (and the amount of albums stored, and the way they are named/appear to have been ripped), im pretty sure the original albums are bought and legit. But, although I know you are allowed to make copies of music bought for personal use, I'm sure this doesnt extend to distribution to pupils.

    Opinions welcome?

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    enjay's Avatar
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    I believe the law states that you can only have a single copy of the track and it must not be possible to listen to the ripped MP3 at the same time as the original CD; therefore the whole class listening to one MP3 is questionable. You also have ownership issues, if the school is using CDs/MP3s owned by the teacher personally and not the school. This law is somewhat outdated and not really appropriate for the iPod generation, but it is the law nonetheless. That said, there are exemptions in the copyright laws, which permit use for educational purposes - note this doesn't include students listening to music while working, and it doesn't include students copying them off onto their personal players.

    A point on liability, by the way, is that it is the school who is liable for any breach of the law, not the individual teachers.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @enjay:

    I beg to differ on the statement "for educational purposes only" there is no such definition in the music copyright legislation, this is something of an educational myth started back in the 1980s when reprographics was the way in which copyright was being infringed by the educational establishment which took leave of the 10% copying facility given by book copyright institutions around the world, this stated that for educational purposes only, 10% of any book or magazine could be copied for the students teaching and learning.

    Since then it has always been the phrase used the most in schools "For educational purposes" to which digital copyright has no such terminology written into the legislation.

    We have issued our staff with a booklet listing the things they cannot copy and the reasons why and also things that they can use, this has shocked them as they felt they were doing no wrong, they stated "For educational purposes" funny how things stick in teachers minds when it has been passed down from each generation.

    This means that teachers in general do remember things when they wish to when they feel it is advantageous to them.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    We have issued our staff with a booklet listing the things they cannot copy and the reasons why and also things that they can use, t
    Any chance of a look at your booklet?

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    I beg to differ on the statement "for educational purposes only" there is no such definition in the music copyright legislation
    Other than this one, you mean - Intellectual Property Office - Permitted uses of copyright works - teaching in educational establishments

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    Although this site (Intellectual Property Office - Permitted uses of copyright works) mentions certain exceptions, there is no mention of teaching staff distributing/making available musical works to pupils

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enigma View Post
    Although this site (Intellectual Property Office - Permitted uses of copyright works) mentions certain exceptions, there is no mention of teaching staff distributing/making available musical works to pupils
    It covers it being played/used, but not distributed. I read that as saying that it is okay for the kids to use school-provided MP3s so long as they don't keep copies or use them outside of the classroom.

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Any chance of a look at your booklet?
    I would also be interested in this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Any chance of a look at your booklet?
    Out of interest, I wouldnt mind checking this out as well.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @enjay:

    This clause (reprographic process means using a fax machine, photocopier or any appliance which makes multiple copies). will actually mean a computer or any other digital means to copy the MP3 or any other digital file which has copyright legislation attached.

    I have been in talks with various people around the country who are involved with digital copyright infringement and yes enjay you are right in the sense of it being as you put it " a little out of date" and "a grey area" but this doesn't give education the rights to do what they feel fit with other peoples property now does it?

    I do respect that you have done some research on this matter and you so rightly pointing this out to people is good as it exposes everyone to the way in which education tries to exploit the copyright laws of this and any other country by the simple phrase "For educational purposes" but we as professionals need to interpret what the legislation actually means to educational professionals as they seem to interpret it differently as it suits them.

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    @all:
    Here is our document (Sorry not booklet) which we push out to all our staff and it is being reviewed often:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Copyright infringement - music?!-schools-copying-guidelines.pdf  

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @all:

    please feel free to comment as it only helps towards making education environments more copyright aware

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @all:

    MP3s have not been mentioned in name as enjay did point out that this is indeed a grey area and at this particular moment in time until ratified by the digital rights and various other organisations we have given the staff verbal instructions as to what they can and cannot do with digital music which is copyrighted.

    As soon as I have confirmation from above it will be entered in this document.
    It is a slow process as the organisations involved have different views about what can and cannot be done by education with copyrighted music.

    For the time being though our stance is that no MP3 copyrighted music should be stored on the servers only copyright free music and that there are consequences to the school if this is not adhered to.

    Staff have been very good about it though I must say.

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    @bossman - it wasn't the reprographics clause I was referring to, more the next two which refer to "Anything done for setting or answering examination questions" and "Performing, playing or showing copyright works in a school, university or other educational establishment for educational purpose".

    I wasn't for a second suggesting we should exploit the grey areas of the law, quite the opposite in fact - if you read my earlier post in this thread, you'll see this. The fact that the law is inappropriate or in our personal views unacceptable doesn't actually matter, we must adhere to it - and I said this.

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    @enjay:

    I didn't think for one moment you would exploit the grey areas being the professional you are and as it is such a grey area who better than us to be entrusted with the enforcement of these copyright laws.

    I am pleased that the subject has been brought up again as it always sparks a good debate because of peoples different interpretations of the copyright laws (especially the teaching staff bless) they seem to get very huffy when told they can't store certain files and documents on the servers.

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