I came across two interesting videos today, both of which are available on Youtube, and each illustrating a different trend in access to media and educational materials.

The first one, The Civil War in Four Minutes is apparently from the Lincoln Library and Museum (thank you google). It demonstrates an effective use of video and animation. This short film explains the changing direction and key points in the Civil war with amazing clarity and simplicity. Many of the random Civil War facts that have been left drifting around in my head since 11th grade Social Studies are quickly put into order. However, more importantly, this video demonstrates the changing way in which we access information.

Now, on the one hand, while some information is becoming more accessible, other information- important information, is becoming less accessible, and the reason is archaic copyright law. This video, entitled Eyes on the Fair Use Prize examines the devastating effect of copyright law on our access to important historical media.

I don't know whether the Civil War video is on Youtube legally or not, although because it is not posted by the library itself, I would suspect not. The interesting question though, is that a reason not to use it in your class? Ethically speaking, would you be more likely to uphold archaic copyright law or share this useful resource with your class?

I guess I don't have to tell you where I stand!


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