Monday, June 21, 2010

A tireless advocate for student press freedom

We heard from Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center. He spoke on two really important issues: Scholastic Press Freedom and Fair Use.

Even though I work in a private school, I was glad, based on information presented on the First Amendment, to live in California where public school students and teachers receive more protection than in most other states. So much for our left-leaning liberalness

Listening to his presentation on Fair Use was really interesting and useful because there is still so much gray area about what we can and can't do in schools. As part of our school's technology support team, it has bothered me when I hear about so many classroom and/or sports projects that include copyrighted music. I think it's important to model for our students the proper way to obtain music to use in projects, e.g., creating ones own music on, for example, Garage Band (Mac) or Adobe Audition (PC) or purchasing the rights to legally use music at online sites such as

But I'm a realist and am aware of time constraints that make the use of original music difficult in classrooms. So it was nice to hear that school projects can use copyrighted music as long as they are snippets from several songs and not the entire song.

Nicki Yokota
St. Margaret's Episcopal School
San Juan Capistrano, CA

1 comment:

  1. I too appreciated what LoMonte had to say about Fair Use and copyright protections, both in regards to music and to photos. It is so easy for students to "borrow" rather than create. This is something I will be emphasizing with my students this coming year. Thank you for the website connections as well.

    Jamalee Moret
    Alhambra High School