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Copyright Notes

Copyright issues and the FIRST Assessment Database

Meeting between Jenni Momsen and Amy Blair, Copyright Librarian at MSU

  1. The fair-use policy does not apply to the FIRST Assessment Database since the database is open to anyone (i.e., any faculty member in the US) and available via the Internet.
  2. That said, if the scope of use of copyrighted materials by a particular faculty member were small (say 1 to 3 questions on an exam of 25 or 50 questions), then most publishers would not care. However, with faculty from across the nation contributing to this database, there is the possibility that most, if not all of a textbook’s questions will wind up in the database.
  3. Ideally, a faculty member would rewrite a question before administering to students and then submitting to the database.
  4. There are no blanket rules in copyright permissions. Permission to use copyrighted materials is the sole right of the entity that holds the copyright. They determine how, when and why their materials can be used.
  5. For this reason, Amy recommends obtaining blanket permission from a publisher for faculty to upload test items to the database. It is in our best interest to contact major publishers of test items/text books to work out a blanket agreement with them ahead of time.
  6. In the past, we discussed including full references for copyrighted items. Amy feels this is absolutely necessary and will be required by most copyright holders.
  7. Although we plan to require database users to register (with a password), this does not circumvent the issue of copyright permissions since, in theory, anyone can register to use the database. This would change if we required institutions to join, allowing only those faculty members at member institutions to use the database.
  8. Because the prototype is funded by a grant to MSU faculty members, we can work with the copyright services of the MSU library to obtain permissions for test items. Obviously, this is not a real solution for large numbers of items or the production model.
  9. Finally, we must be clear that items from proprietary sources – ETS or College Board exams, for example – are not admissible in any form to the database.
  10. If we have additional questions, Amy is happy to answer. It should be a faster process now that she has a clear understanding of our project.

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This page last changed on 26-Jun-2008 10:36:57 PDT by uid=momsenj,o=MSU.