Teachers recording themselves reading a text all students purchase

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  • Hello Copyright scholars,

     Thank you so much for running this forum. I have just found an answer that included a webinar from 3-31-20 about reading aloud. I understand from that post and its accompanying article that the way the source text was obtained (rented, purchased, borrowed, etc., as long as it's legal) is irrelevant. 

      However, there were also a number of cautions about use of textbooks and commercial learning materials. I wanted to be sure that I understood the second prong, asking about the harm to the core market for the product is harmed. Does it follow, then, that if we have purchased a copy of the textbook for each student, then that pushes the answer to that second question to "no"? If so, then a teacher reading that textbook aloud is permissible and therefore reading it aloud and making a recording that is available to enrolled students would likely be permissible. This would likely be a transformative use because of the teacher creating a community between herself and the students as well as helping students learn how to read and comprehend a technical text. Is that right? 

    Thank you so much!

    Kerry Anne

  • Kerry Anne:

    Yes, I agree with your assessment.  The problem with textbooks and workbooks is that it is assumed that each student will purchase their own individual copies. I am talking about purchased print textbooks. Textbooks publishers are moving to licensed models that sidestep the used copy market (for which they get no return), and to sell accompanying lesson plans that are necessary to fully use the textbook. 

    Good luck!




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