Monday, October 13, 2008

CIPA - Children's Internet Protection Act

There have been a good handful of you that have visited and commented on my postings for this blog. Thanks! Your comments have allowed me to continue my research and post new findings. At this point, there have been five of you who have taken the survey located to the right of this blog dealing with CIPA. If you are reading this and you have not yet taken the poll, please do so now as this posting will focus on information from that survey.

CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act)
The CIPA is one of several bills that the U.S. Congress has proposed in order to limit adolescent's exposure to explicit content available online on school and library computers. Senator John McCain was responsible for introducting the bill that would later become CIPA to the U.S. Senate in 1999. President Bill Clinton is credited for signing the bill into law on December 21, 2000 and it was upheald by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 23, 2003.

CIPA in a Nutshell
CIPA requires schools that recieve federal funding from either the E-Rate program or Title III, to enforce Internet safety policies with technology protection mesaures. Failure to adopt a policy that implements a protecetion measure on technology could cause a school to lose federal funds. District are free to select filtering or blocking programs, however, there are no specifics about whose access must be filtered and what types of material must be blocked/filtered by schools receiving federal funding.

In addition, the ALA decided to challenge CIPA in 2001. Wikipedia does a good job of explanining why ALA believed that the law was unconstitutional. The following information is available at: Please visit this site and read the section on the suit that challenged the law and respond to the questions at the end of this post.

For more informatoin regarding CIPA visit the following websites:

Please respond to the following:

1. Do you believe CIPA is necessary in school settings?

2. Should schools filter online content or should students have unlimited access to the Internet?

3. Does CIPA violate the mission of libraries?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ellison V. AOL

Please use the following link to read about an Internet case regarding copyright.

After reading, please respond to the following questions...

1-What are your thoughts about copyright violation as it relates to this case?

2-The court was for and against both parties. Do you think one party had a stronger case? Why or why not?

3-Why do you think that Ellison was willing to settle "on terms that remain confidential?"

4-What does this case teach us about legal issues relating to the Internet?

Abandonment of Copyright

Erica asked a great question regarding information found on my post entitled "World Wide Web." She wanted to know how to determine whether copyright is abandoned for Internet materials. The best answer that I can find based on my research thus far consists of the following:

How long does copyright last?
-Works created on or after Jan 1978, life of author + 70
-Work for hire 95 years

Basically you will need to do extensive research to find out the status of the copyright. The following two web sites may be helpful in determining the status of copyright for a specific piece of work.
This website will help determine the status of a copyright.
This website will help with the status of things registered before 1978.

Chapter 9 - Internet in Schools

I will be basing the information for this post from Carol Simpson's Copyright for Schools. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please feel free to read Chapter 9.

What guidelines affect Internet?
This section of the chapter was particularly interesting to me. Throughout my research I found that copyright and how it relates to the Internet categorized as an issue that is unresolved. I kept asking myself, "Well, how can it be unresolved? Either there are guidelines that exist or they don't exist." Chapter 9 of Simpson's text provides the best answer regarding this issue.

"Unlike print works, music, audiovisuals, multimedia, computer software, and distance learning, there are no set copyright guidelines for the Internet. Partly because the Internet is composed of print, music, audiovisuals, multimedia, and computer software, none of the established guidelines fit perfectly, but ALL of the established guidelines may apply to some extent." (Simpson, 2005, p. 124)

With this in mind, the text suggests that one must always revert back to the four standard tests of fair use to figure out whether or not information taken from the Internet is fair. In addition, every creator of materials available on the Internet have five rights: reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display. In other words, this would include any scanned photos, e-mails, written documents, recording of voice on a digital file, etc. Simply put, notice of copyright is not required in order to have such types of items protected under copyright.

Special considerations for different Internet services
Perhaps the most surprising bit of information that I have learned thus far was found in regard to E-mail.

"The author of an e-mail message owns the content of that message. You, as the recipient, may not make copies of that message, or distribute it without the consent of the original author. This impacts messages you may forward to third parties without the express consent of the original author." (Simpson, 2005, 126)

Think about all the e-mails that are forwarded to administrators, guidance counselors, other teachers, or to parents/guardians in educational environments. Express your thoughts here regarding the issue of "fair use" and e-mail.

Simpson, C. (2005). Copyright for schools: A practical guide. Worthington, OH: Linworth Publishing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

World Wide Web

"The Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception. The Internet is awash in information, a lot of it with varying degrees of copyright protection. Copyrighted works on the Net include news stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, Usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. That can pose problems for the hapless surfer." (

What is protected on the World Wide Web?
The specific design of a Web page and the following contents are protected by copyright:
-Original Text
-List of Web sites compiled by an individual or organization
-All other unique elements that make up the original nature of the material.

When creating a Web page, you CAN:
-Link to other Web sites.
-Use free graphics on your Web page.

When creating a Web page, you CANNOT:
-Put the contents of another person's or organizations web site on your Web page.
-Copy and paste information together from various Internet sources to create "your own" document.
-Incorporate other people's electronic material, such as e-mail, in your own document, without permission.
-Forward someone's e-mail to another recipient without permission.
-Change the context of or edit someone else's digital correspondence in a way which changes the meaning.
-Copy and paste others' lists of resources on your own Web page.
-Copy and paste logos, icons, and other graphics from other web sites to your Web page.

Information taken from:
Montecino, V. (1996). Copyright and the Internet. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from

Public Domain?

When surfing the World Wide Web, it is easy to copy pictures, graphics, HTML codes, or original writings. Many individuals believe that anything found on the Internet falls under the category of public domain and can be taken without permissions from the author/creator/owner. After all, if the information wasn't public domain, why would browser's allow us to select "file save as?" To help understand why media and information on the Internet is not public domain think about your driveway. Your driveway isn't technically located inside your home, so does that mean anyone can come onto your driveway and do what they want making it public domain? NO! Just because your driveway is visible from the street and can be easily accessed by many individuals, its mere location does not make it public domain.

Consequently, the same idea applies to material published on the Internet. Material on Internet can only be copied freely if the information meets one of the following:

1-Information is created by the federal government.
2-Copyright has expired.
3-Copyright has been abandoned by the holder.

As a result, information on the Internet cannot automatically be deemed as public domain. The only way that it receives this classification is if it meets one of the above criteria listed above.

With this in mind, think about the types of information, pictures, graphics, writings, or HTML codes that you have copied or saved from the Internet in the past. Can you think of an instance when what you copied or saved actually met one of the listed criteria? Share your thoughts about materials on the Internet and public domain.


What is copyright protection? (2007). Retrieved September 29, 2008, from

The Internet and Copyright

The contents of this blog will focus on copyright and how it pertains to the Internet, especially in the school setting. In addition, I will also be posting information about CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act). With that in mind, please check back often to gain valuable information about this "hot topic."

Think about the following...

I recently had to do a PowerPoint presentation on Thailand for one of my ESL courses. The PowerPoint needed to reflect different aspects of Thai culture. While working on this project, I often went to Google and typed in a search phrase and clicked on "Images" to find pictures that corresponded with the category. Here is one of the pictures that I found relating to Thai weddings:

I was able to move my mouse over the picture and right click to "copy" it. Then I went to my PowerPoint and "pasted" it to my presentation. Now, with this in mind, did I violate copyright or was the image available for my use since it was located on the World Wide Web? Post your thoughts here.