Okay so figuring out how copyright laws work is a bit like a trip to the dentist…unpleasant and at times painful. This is a tricky thing and it seems to me unless you ever got in trouble and had a lawyer explain it to you, you would have little idea as to how these laws worked or even made sense! Making the situation more difficult and pertinent to many of us hear in Asia is that the copyright laws are completely different or in some cases non-existent.
When the legalities of copyright cannot be completely explained or are not clearly understood by our selves how do we teach what is the “correct” way of doing things with our students? Does it then becomes a lesson in what is morally the right thing to do and how to best cover our backsides?
As an art teacher it is one of my primary goals to instill a passion for the arts. I pride myself in introducing my kids to as many contemporary, presently working artists as I possibly can and in doing so I pull A LOT of images from the internet. That being said it has never crossed my mind to cite where I obtained these images. It was however always made clear to my students as to who created the artwork. Which leads me to this question. Is it better to cite the site where I got the image from or the artist who created the piece? When I have students create their own artist digital presentations I ask them to include the artist name, title of work and year created next to all images. I’m not sure I feel it’s necessary for my students to link it back to where it was pulled from. More often than not it comes from a site that isn’t even the artists own. I do believe it’s important to model and teach our kids the right thing to do. I have no problems linking images back to their source especially if the source is the creator of the image or artwork itself. Perhaps asking students to include a link to the artist homepage would be more beneficial in this case.