copyright law (long post)

Subject: copyright law (long post)
From: Chantel Reynolds <reynoldb -at- ZIAVMS -dot- ENMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 17:32:45 -0600

Does anyone know where I can get a layman's "rulebook" for
copyright laws? I have a feeling that my supervisors are putting me in a
situation that could come back to haunt me, and I need to show them the
exact rules for what they want to do.

We are a small department teaching intro to university studies
courses, and we teach specific techniques, some of which come out of a
textbook with which we are extremely unhappy and will not be using after
this semester. However, most of the techniques are ours, developed by us,
especially for us. But my supervisors have asked me, the lowly graduate
assistant, to write up these techniques as well as some of the ones we use
from the textbook into a supplement for our students. I was very careful
to take nothing directly from this textbook-no examples, no assignments,
nothing. I only looked through it for the ideas and then tailored them to
fit our students. Unfortunately, my supervisors want this one particular
phrase as well as its abbreviation to be in our supplemental text. That
phrase is copyrighted, and I have had to use it throughout the supplement.

They think we can get away with this because we are not asking
students to purchase this supplement; we will be providing it to them free
of charge by using our university duplicating services to make the copies
we will need. And I have accorded credit to the original authors of the
phrase in the acknowledgements section of the supplement as well as
thanking them for their text since it "provided inspiration for some of the
techniques we use." However, I don't know if that's enough, and I don't
feel it's ethical, but this was my assignment.

I am afraid they will eventually try to have the students buy the
text to cut down on duplicating, and I have no way to stop that, especially
since I am leaving in the fall.

Anyone got any advice for me, or am I worrying for nothing?



The third pig builds the best house,
and if you sleep in someone else's bed,
the bears will find you.

Barra Chantel Reynolds
Eastern New Mexico University
Graduate Assistant and CRLA Tutor
reynoldb -at- ziavms -dot- enmu -dot- edu

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