Using Resources Legally to Further Knowledge
Since the inception of the Internet, copyright laws have become unclear. Sharing material online has led to an unfortunate amount of piracy of copyrighted works, intentionally and unintentionally. Understanding how to navigate the murky waters of copyright infringement is essential, especially in the field of education. Teaching students to understand the difference between copyright infringement, and fair use can help to alleviate the adverse effects of copyright violations, which occur all too often in our society. Recognizing the difference between these two terms and having the ability to apply them to everyday choices that people make online can help promote digital citizenship. Too often, people mistakenly utilize or share material that they find online without attributing credit or fairly downloading and paying for material that requires compensation. Fair use is an important part of the educational process and can lead to advancement of many ideas and products, but people must understand the difference between fair use and copyright infringement in order to utilize fair use effectively and make positive contributions to our society.
Copyright infringement is a serious violation that can have a negative impact on both individual creators of content and our economy as a whole. According to Purdue University’s Copyright Office, “Copyright infringement is the act of violating any of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights granted by the federal Copyright Act” (Purdue Unversity, 2009). Penalties for violating copyright infringement can be costly and may even result in a person going to prison. Understanding the purpose of copyright law can make re...
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...t and fair use can be confusing and misleading, especially in a digital world. Access to pirated works is easy and readily available. As such, individuals must become educated about the difference between these two classifications and understand how to avoid breaking this federal law. When one recognizing how to credibly and ethically use material accessed online, then he or she is empowered to make proactive choices and will leave positive digital footprints. In the field of education, practicing fair use is especially important as it alleviates the adverse effects of copyright violation on our society while promoting the development and sharing of ideas. Ultimately, the correct use of fair use can lead to increased amount of collaboration, which can ultimate increase the knowledge base and access of to resources for the American people.
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