Copyright Issues

Belgium Library – Created by Heather Goggins on

I take copyright laws quite seriously. I feel strongly that if someone has created something, they deserve to be recognized and paid fairly for it. Teaching copyright in Asia, where there are virtually no guidelines (that I am aware of) is a struggle. The first time I became really aware of copyright was when I began submitting flip charts onto Promethean Planet as part of a ActiveInspire Level 1 – Skills Course. I became quite conscious of each image I had on my flip chart and made sure I was able to credit the author and the website I got it from. At first this was quite labor intensive but after awhile I would just save the URL when I used each picture. It was at this point that I started teaching my children to use Creative Commons Search to search for images to use in their work. My students are 6-7 years old and they use images for Powerpoint / Keynote presentations and KidBlogs. I can’t be sure exactly how much of our conversations and me commenting on their work and giving positive recognition to students who did use images that were free for use sunk in, but I do feel I made a dent in them and at least brought it to their attention. I think it is important that all teachers become educated in this and as they go through the grades copyright and fair use needs to be encouraged. As I am beginning to think about re writiing my school’s Acceptable Use Policy, I am realizing that it is a good idea to add something in about copyright and fair use.

On the other hand, I think it is a bit of a double edged sword. As I mentioned previously, I have created flip charts that I have submitted to Promethean Planet for other teachers to potentially find useful and download. I am aware that some teachers might perhaps pretend it is their work to their peers. I understand and accept that I will probably never find this out, so it doesn’t really bother me. I am not trying to make money off my flipcharts which is probably why I don’t mind, and I can see how it would be very frustrating if I was a creative person trying to make a living off my artistry.

I read an interesting article about how the Belgian copyright society wants royalties for library volunteers who read to small groups of children. I think this is taking it to a ridiculous level, quite frankly.

4 thoughts on “Copyright Issues

  1. The younger we can get introduce the concepts of copyrighting with our students, the more it becomes second nature to them. I like the idea of adding copyrighting to the AUP. I often see teachers not knowing that they are stepping over the boundaries of copyright laws with their class presentations and exemplars. The kids follow their example.
    Do your teachers sign a AUP? Should a copyright PD session be mandatory for all teachers? I’d support it in my school.
    The article about the Belgian copyright society is ridiculous. That would be like… I can’t even make an analogy that’s par with that? $$$ clouds common sense.

  2. Hey Joe – thanks for your comment. We do sign an acceptable use policy but it doesn’t say anything about copyright issues in it. I think a copyright PD session would be very beneficial for staff as I think many people are not actually aware of many issues in copyright, especially in Asia. I agree with you that kids follow our example and the best thing is for us to model good practice. I am going to start to talk more about what I am doing – for example if I got a photo on a flip chart from CC, I will briefly mention it to students when I’m teaching.

  3. I think part of the issue is we break copyright…as it’s written all the time. Any time we have a school dance we break it. Any time we hire a DJ who doesn’t have a license, we break it. Anytime we’re in a club, they break it.

    We’re in this weird place where we have always broke copyright (mixed tapes in the old days) and they all just let us do it because we couldn’t mass produce them. But now that it’s digital we can spread them faster and wider then ever before. So the form factor of the media is what caused this. We’ve already broke the law…heck taping songs from the radio is breaking the law.

    That’s what makes this weird, I think. Big business turns their head one way cause they know they can’t stop it and it’s not really hurting their bottom line, but then they want us to not do it the other way. What kind of message does that send us…..and by us I mean our generation that knows these different medians even existed.

  4. Hey Jeff, you are right – it is a bit tricky to navigate, at the end of the day if you were an artist you would be glad to hear that your music is being played at a school dance, just for the exposure (I would think). I am pretty unsure about the message as well – I think big business is going to have to at some point come up with new rules in order for people to navigate through.

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