Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Copyright: Do it Right the First Time

In digital times, infringement of copyright has been easier to break than ever before.  Songs, music, photos and art are all online an available for anyone to grab.  This article makes a great point about how if we are to afraid of breaking these copyright laws we can stifle the creativity of students and disallowing the collaboration use of all the media that is available.  Sum educators believe that if it is used under the name of education than everything is fair game.  Both are misleading but understanding what copyright is and how we can collaborate using the technology legally is the first step in helping our students get creative the right way.

Copyright law protects the Constitutional rights of citizens giving them exclusive rights to their prospective works whether it be an artist, writer or inventor.  It prevents one from reproducing, playing, distributing or slightly altering the original form of that work.  It is a common miss belief that if you are using it for personal or educational use than it is ok.  Using even a copyrighted sound for personal use or a school project would be considered a violation of copyright law.  Wells shares a great story about a class project that where students used original soundtracks in a history video that was originally intended for the classroom only.  The video was so good it ended up on local television and was immediately shut down do to copyright violations.  If he had a better understanding of copyright laws he could have educated his students on how and where they could obtain and license the media they needed or wanted without breaking these same laws.  His research led him to Creative Commons allows you to create your own license and where the Artists have already given their express permission to use their work as long as credit is given.  Sites where you can find these works include, Google Images and Flicker and students can use the digital resources found there to create the project they are working on.

This article is just another example of NETS-S standard number 5 for students.  It not only advocates for the safe and responsible use of information and technology but implements a positive attitude towards using that technology as well.  In addition, it supports collaboration within the school and students that promotes personal growth in learning and responsibility within the technology itself.

Wells, David (May 2012). Copyright: Do it Right the First Time. Learning and Leading with Technology, 39(7) 35-36.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony,

    Ahh! I commend you for tackling the sticky issue of copyrights. Just doing the assignment for this week’s lesson has my head swimming. I love how your article cites the example of the history video and the soundtrack music. In the teaching world nowadays, creating videos for assignments is greatly favored by students. I have seen countless incredible math music videos, where students create a rap that teaches the break-down of a problem or subject - such as learning how to factor or geometry as a whole. Students then add popular beats to the background, and in my opinion the combination of having fun and learning is educational gold!

    After reading your article though, I start to get worried about making such video’s in my class. I would hate to have my students create something that they worked hard on and take pride in, just to be shot down by some lawyer who says we’re breaking copyright rules. So what’s the loophole? Would these videos be considered a “Parody?” If so, according to the copyright laws I read for our assignment they should be okay. It’s a very tough situation, but I suppose it’s good to start thinking about it before it’s too late…

    - Daphne