momstermash

Friday, November 03, 2006

Polar Bears Blog #4

momstermash

I received an e-mail today from a friend that included several cutesy photographs of polar bears sleeping, dancing, and hugging. The e-mail had been forwarded to several addresses before it was finally forwarded to me. I enjoyed the photos and considered sharing them with my friends.

Could I forward these photos? The forward button is just a mouse click away. Have you ever forwarded an email? You are probably thinking, who hasn’t?

Forwarding an e-mail is a U.S. copyright violation!

According to Carol Simpson in Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition, “E-mail is probably the most abused Internet property. It is forwarded, edited, copied and reprinted, sometimes to the point that the original author is long lost.” (p. 121) She is absolutely right. I have no idea who put the series of photographs together, let alone who took the photos. The photographer owns these pictures. Without his or her permission, I cannot forward the photos. “Reproduction in all formats is controlled by the copyright owner.” (p. 17)

Every day I receive personal emails just as a private letter use to be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. I may preserve one copy of an original email for my own files, but I cannot make additional copies and distribute/forward them without permission from the author.

Although we will probably never be questioned about our everyday copyright infringements, but we do need to be aware of the violations and educate our library patrons and students of the laws pertaining to copyright protection. Until I read Carol Simpson’s book, I had never even considered this copyright question.

Simpson, Carol. Copyright for Schools: a Practical Guide. 4th ed. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Books, 2005.

67 Comments:

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Lj said...

Good point Carol. While I would not like my photographs to be forwarded as an attachment on some-one's email, I would like if they would do so and give me credit.

This seemingly harmless task of sending and resending graphics as attachments is unfair and illegal. Is it up to t6he owner of the image to address this issue?

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

Wow, I never thought about this. Good point!

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Jessi said...

this makes me very happy that i don't forward pictures...
it scary to think that a single click of something brings ethics, morals and even the law into question.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I am part of my community network where we normally communicate about neighborhood concerns. I often wondered if it would be appropriate to communicate with others on the email list when they haven't explicitly given me permission to use their address. You and the author quoted are so right, this is an invasion of privacy and of copyright.

 
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