The Copyright Distance Learning Disconnect

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The Copyright-Distance Learning Disconnect by Michael Seadle

In the article entitled The Copyright-Distance Learning Disconnect, Seadle a “copyright librarian at Michigan State University” (Seadle, 2002, p. 2) examines several ways in which the current copyright laws are antiquated for the digital world of distance learning. Three disconnects that Seadle identifies are restrictions on instructor materials imposed by the current definition of Fair Use, student opinion that all information on the internet is free to be used without limitation and lastly, the difficulties faced by publishers in protecting copyrighted work. Many of the difficulties found in following as well as enforcing copyright laws, stem from the vastly different time it takes for changes to occur. The technology utilized in distance learning updates daily while copyright law is slow to update (Seadle, 2002).

Copyright Basics and Education Exemptions
Copyright is defined as “the legal right to be the only one to reproduce, publish, and sell a book, musical recording, etc.” (Copyright [Def.1], n.d). In the law, copyright protection insures that the authors are considered the owners of the work they create and they can therefor expect compensation if the work is used by anyone other than themselves. Copyright laws over the years have made great efforts to protect the creators and authors of constructed works; however, the ease by which materials can be obtained and distributed online has created

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