I’m reading articles, watching videos, taking in terms…and have decided…it’s complicated.
How do I teach international copyright laws?
In general international copyright laws are not honored in my part of Asia.
What do I mean? Walking distance from my house first run movies are available in video stores a week after the movie has opened. Available for a couple of dollars. The same for books and Cd’s.
Regardless we are meant to teach and follow international copyright laws. How do I communicate copyright violation to my students?
I believe that our focus has to be personal in nature. We must deliver the message to students and parents that we value individual thinking skills. Both students and parents should know that we want to hear what their child has to say about a given topic-their own ideas. We must let the student AND parents know that memorization of a single idea is a lower order thinking skill. Students and parents need to know that teachers are vigilant. They should be aware that there are technological devices that help us to check whether material has been plagiarized.
We also have to model appropriate behavior. Bringing in locally purchased pirated videos and music Cd’s that are clearly copyright violated sends the message that you do not respect the intellectual property of individuals. If we want our students to respect school norms in regards to cheating/plagiarism, we have to show that we respect these international norms by not purchasing pirated materials.
New ideas, new information…
Larry Lessing suggests that we (USA/International Copyright laws) may be too uptight for the 21st Century.
He advocates for Creative Commons, remixing, and in essence a loosening of copyright regulations . He suggests that it is time for the laws to be relaxed regarding the use of music and the creation of AMV-anime music videos. He reasons that as long as young people are creating products that are noncommercial in use, the work of other artists needs to be more available for creative remixing. He views AMV not as piracy but “re-creating other people’s technology.”
And though careful to respect the parameters of Ted Talks, Creative Commons (CC) is mentioned. CC is used for…
“Realizing the full potential of the internet — universal access to research, education, full participation in culture, and driving a new era of development, growth, and productivity.”
Think about this…people are actively donating materials so that ALL members of the Internet community have equal access to intellect. So today for example, I downloaded Chapter 1 from a science book free of charge. I can use the whole book if I desire. Unbelievable.
Subsequently, what is our obligation as educators?
First and foremost our role is to help students understand that the rights of individual creators are being protected-that includes their intellectual property.
In addition after reading Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials it is evident that there is some leniency for educational purposes. Students, faculty and staff have rights of use within certain parameters.
We can share with students and other educators Creative Commons and let them explore the site. Though I did not find any materials that I thought would be appropriate in regards to student reading level, I would welcome their efforts in exploring the site. It is important to let them know that a site exists where people are looking at intellectual property differently.
We need to stay informed. We need to advocate for our students. Technology is the genre of learning for the younger members of our society. Their interest and ability in remixing new systems with old is exciting and entertaining. We need to consider the possible outcomes that can occur when people are given the opportunity to create something new and share it without the risk of “copyright violation”.
I think our final obligation is to be tolerant. We don’t want to advocate copyright violation, but at the same time, we want students to have self-expression and creativity. We want to support their intellect and creativity with technology and not drive their talents underground.