Unclear about Copyright

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I taught in Canada for several years where copyright laws were clear on print materials.  We had big signs hanging over our photocopiers listing the rules of what you could legally copy.   Now teaching in Kuwait, my Canadian copyright rules for print materials are no longer adhered to.

I have not kept up with the copyright laws in our digital age where so much information is available quickly and easily, and after this week of reading and reflecting about copyright, I have many questions and concerns.

Why is it so easy to illegally download music, tv shows and newly released movies? How do we teach students not to do it, when it is so easily accessible?  How do we stop from doing it ourselves?  Do we stifle creativity putting barriers on everything? How do we avoid letting students use pictures from Google Images without citing?  Is sharing you tube videos in class okay when often their content source is unclear?

Copyright, giving credit, and citing sources when using technology was an area I was okay to be a bit unclear on.  Sometimes not knowing what you are doing is wrong, makes it easier to do.  Now that I am becoming more aware of digital copyright issues, it creates more work and more worry.  It took me more time to link two photos to my blog entry last week than it did to write my reflection.  I am hesitant to use photos in my blog entry, now that I know I have give credit.  I am glad to be learning how to give credit to individual’s work, but am just saying that it makes it more time consuming.    I know it will become habit and get easier the more I do it.  (I had to rewatch Jeff’s video on Adding An Image and Citing Source in A Blog Post for this blog entry too).

As Wesley Froger wrote in his blog reflection called, Understanding and Respecting Copyright is a Problem For Many:

 As educators, we need accurate and practical guidelines to follow when using and re-using media in student multimedia projects as well as our own.

The creative commons website and especially the video explaining it are valuable resources for students and staff.   Comfight.com is also a good tool and one students could use easily.  This course is challenging me and makes me want to use technology properly so I can be a positive role model for students.

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2 comments for “Unclear about Copyright

  1. Avatar of Marcello Mongardi
    April 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm


    I liked your post. I fee that the answer to a few of your questions lies in the issue of community. Speaking personally, I consider myself as a person who creates content that lives on the internet. I do so by posting photographs, by writing blog posts, and by commenting on other people’s blogs. As such, I feel like I am a part of a creative community on the internet, and as a member of a community, I feel obliged to respect the members of that community. Therefore I cite and give credit etc., and I would like to the ink that the others in my community would do the same. So perhaps part of the solution lies in making our students feel like they belong to that community in a similar way.

  2. Janette
    April 22, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Thanks for your feedback. I feel like I am just starting to be part of that community (thanks to this course) and although it is a learning curve for me, I’m happy to be learning how to cite and give credit etc. Getting students on board and making them feel part of the community is exactly what needs to be done, and I’m sure is being done already in many cases.

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