How do copyright laws effect the distribution of e-text and alternate formatting?
The distribution of alternate formatted books and materials must be reviewed for its copyright status. Most current books are protected by copyright laws, which protect intellectual property rights of the author and the publisher. The Chafee Amendment to the Copyright Law allows for fair use of text materials to be changed so that people with print disabilities can have access and understand printed materials, such as books and magazines.
The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) has significant information about these laws and how they apply to schools and coleges. http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_accessible.html
Were you under the umbrella of the DSPS department?
Yes, the courses and services were provided through DSPS. This is necessary for legal purposes to comply with disability accommodations under the ADA and other laws, but is not necessary under copyright laws. The person recieving alternate formatted text needs to be determined to have a reading disability by an authorized professional. The professional does not have to be a DSPS employee.
Did a student have to have a disability to take the class
or was it open?
No, any student could take the course. A determination of a print disability was not necessary. Books can be provided to students under fair use of the copyright law, with certain restrictions, in a classroom by the teacher for textbooks and other required texts of the class. But, only those students that have been determined to have a print disability fall under the expanded fair use of copyrighted materials under the Chapee Amendment.
You mentioned that for students who donít have
disabilities you have to work differently with the copyright
laws. What is it that you do?
These students can use public domain materials that are no longer copyrighted, texts that are required for the class, or scan their own books.
Can you recommend a web site that has e-books for free?
Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
Public libraries often have e-text books.
Many college libraries also offer e-text books that can be read by a screen reader.
Learn how to scan your own books. It is easy to do.
Do you have to have a disability for Bookshare?
Yes, Bookshare requires all members to have been determined to have a print disability.