Teaching Copyright

“The copyright bargain: a balance between protection for the artist and rights for the consumer.”
– Attributed to Robin Gross

Copyright is a confusing and complicated area of law for adults. This is especially so given that copyright laws have not kept up with the proliferation of digital media and the realisation of many that music and movies had been, for many years, incredibly overpriced (which is a separate conversation in itself). However, copyright is still an important concept to understand, particularly with the burgeoning use of tablets in the educational context, and the increasing of access to the internet for children.

Having completed the introductory unit focusing on fundamental computer skills with my Stage Three students last week, I am now looking to begin teaching copyright concepts to those students. In preparation, I spent some time examining the content on the CyberSmart for Kids website, and felt that it was very superficial and did not deal with the concept with any genuine effectiveness. I looked elsewhere, and could not find any Australian content that I felt was effective at dealing with the concepts and implications of copyright for students.

I ventured overseas, and after much much searching, have found and am using the iKeepSafe content to deliver these concepts. Today was the first lesson, and even with some good quality resources to back up the delivery, it was a complicated lesson.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has treated this concept with the students, and how you explained and differentiated copyright, fair use, creative commons, public domain etc. in such a way that students were able to engage and understand the concept.

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