Just two decades ago, saying “copyright” to teachers most likely conjured images in their minds only of the fine-print notice in the front of a textbook. Today, with a world of Web 2.0 technology at their fingertips, copyright issues for teachers can be confusing and complex. Add to that an ever-increasing emphasis on technology literacy in our states’ education standards – forcing teachers to incorporate applications and resources that may be uncharted territory to them – and the waters get even murkier. Teachers bear the double-burden of carefully abiding by copyright laws in their day-to-day incorporation of technology in the classroom, while instilling copyright ethics in students as they meet state standards for technology and media literacy. A review of the copyright literature related to education provides some clarity on copyright and fair use applied to classroom practices, suggests barriers to copyright compliance among educators, and provides suggestions on how to teach copyright ethics to a tech-savvy generation.
The Basics of Copyright Law
In its simplest terms, copyright is the U.S. government’s way of protecting the rights of anyone creating an original work, such as a play, song, poem, book, or artwork. Only the work’s original author or creator can make copies, distribute, sell, perform or adapt that work. Originally passed into law 35 years ago, the Copyright Act of 1976 has undergone many changes in the wake of advancing technology, including such changes as categorizing any work on the Internet as “published” (Copyright Act of 1976). Of
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particular interest to educators is the “fair use” doctrine, which extends a get-out-of-jail-free card (so to speak) to anyone using copyrighted...
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...on in her book Copyright Clarity by asserting that the originators of copyright law intended the protection of intellectual property to encourage creativity among inventors, not stifle it.
As educators, a partial grasp or half-hearted embrace of copyright and fair use laws is not enough. Now is the time to teach students how to creatively yet legally take advantage of the plethora of resources at their fingertips through the Internet. Web 2.0 tools are becoming increasingly popular in post-secondary education, and this generation of students is likely to “produce a significant amount of content” over the course of their educational career (Diaz, 2010, p61). These students must know what rights they have to this content they have created, as well as be confident that all the resources they have incorporated along the way have been incorporated ethically.
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- Introduction Just two decades ago, saying “copyright” to teachers most likely conjured images in their minds only of the fine-print notice in the front of a textbook. Today, with a world of Web 2.0 technology at their fingertips, copyright issues for teachers can be confusing and complex. Add to that an ever-increasing emphasis on technology literacy in our states’ education standards – forcing teachers to incorporate applications and resources that may be uncharted territory to them – and the waters get even murkier.... [tags: Ethics, Copyright Infringement]
990 words (2.8 pages)
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