President Bush to sign a bill that will “level the playing field” between online and classroom education usage:
- The legislation would amend the Copyright Act of 1976 so that online-education instructors could use excerpts from recordings of dramatic literary and musical works — such as plays, musicals, and operas — on course Web sites without seeking permission from the copyright owners. Under current law, only nondramatic literary and musical works can be used in online courses without permission. Most copyrighted works can be used in their entirety in a traditional classroom setting without permission.
The language was originally part of S 487, a bill called the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, or TEACH Act.
Kim Kelley, associate provost for University of Maryland University College, said the change in the law will allow professors to create multimedia lessons for students using clips from various copyrighted works.
Under current law, professors are unsure whether they can use the same copyrighted works online that they can use in their traditional courses, Ms. Kelley said. And professors who ask permission often have to wait months for an answer, only to find out that using the material would cost them thousands of dollars….