Friday, October 08, 2010

Copyright in your Moodle Course

Greetings from the last day of the MoodlePosium at Australian National University in Canberra. Vanessa Tuckfield from CIT is speaking on managing copyright in Moodle courses. She pointed out that copyright law applies to much of what educators use, even if they have Creative Commons as an ideal. Copyright generally applies for 70 years after the death of the creator, thanks to the Disney Corporation. There are some statutory licences which educational institutions can purchase (such as Screen-rights).

CIT is working on having electronic surveys of copyright use to avoid teachers having to fill in paper forms. CIT has a repository of materials. Teachers put material in there and this can then be used for multiple courses. This sounds to me like it could be a good idea, even without copyright considerations. The items are tagged with the type of licence.

One point to remember is that in the VET sector, material created by staff is owned by the institution. So organisations need to make sure they do not end up paying for using something they already own.

Vanessa pointed out that educators tend to forget to reference images they use. It may be difficult to include traditional academic references in interactive material. She also poitned out that for material which is not clearly labelled, the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) will collect fees and hold them for collection by the author.

CIT have a "sticky" Moodle block which outlines Copyright of the course materials.


Lauren Thompson (Kane) said...

I like the 'sticky block' idea for copyright of the course materials.

UC also use a sticky block to show the course outline that is automatically pulled in from their repository Equella.

When creating Moodle sites, I often use creative commons-licensed images from Flickr. A simple process I follow is:
- save the image to My Docs,
- copy the URL and paste this into the 'author' information in the image properties,
- insert the image into Moodle and paste the URL as the Image Title.

Doing the above in one go ensures I don't forget to acknowledge the source and makes it easy to find the URL if I wish to re-use the image again elsewhere.

Tom Worthington said...

Lauren Kane said October 12, 2010 3:22 PM:

>... insert the image into Moodle and paste the URL as the Image Title ...

This may conflict with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

The Title attribute is intended to supplement the information in the ALT attribute for people who can't see the image. The file name of the image is unlikely to help the average reader.

Tom Worthington said...

What I do is put a hypertext link on the image. This works particularly well in a slide for a presentation. If I want a higher resolution version of the image for the audience, or to give them more details, I just click on the image.