Friday, June 24, 2011

The nature of the work

I recently posted more of my thoughts regarding the independent / self-directed learner and their use of fair-dealing when utilizing educational resources, copyrighted or otherwise. In that post I spoke to the six-factors to consider with fair-dealing. One of these factors, "the nature of the work" is where my claim to use all materials with reckless abandon falls down...  
Particularly, when the nature of the work has been created for the independent / self-directed learner?

So what kind of resources do I believe fall into the category of "created for the independent / self-directed learner"?
  • Resources created specifically for professional development. Mostly, these resources are created for the independent / self-directed learner. And the nature of the work is servicing this groups learning needs while making a few dollars (not-for-profit and otherwise).
  • Sample exams and testing resources; (GMAT, LSAT, Certification Exams, Etc). All these exams and testing resources are, in general, created for the individual in preparation for exams / tests.
  • All self-help books (Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Other). Go get the book from the library, or buy it if you are using most of it. If your going to copy or publish a paragraph or section into your blog or some other social media, be sure to provide attribution. Otherwise, we are back to private study... remember, the dealing needs to be fair.
  • I'm sure their are others... I'll list them here when I think of them or others comment with their suggestions.
So there you have it. My exception to learning with reckless abandon and claiming fair-dealing. If you are using a resources as an independent / self-directed learner and the resource was created for the independent / self-directed learner I'd suggest you consider honoring the copyright. Then of course, if you copy a paragraph or two, or an image from these resources and put them on your blog, provide some review or your thoughts  from a learning perspective were back to private study. Always remember to link back to the resource and give attribution. Obviously, there comes a point where it all becomes a little grey... that is why we need some case law on an independent / self-directed learner claiming fair-dealing when using copyrighted materials.