Typical Situation

Copyright is a constant issue within the classroom.  One that I probably haven’t done the best job teaching about or even following in the past.  It has come up quite a bit in my classes recently though.  Especially in my Media class where we are working with PhotoShop. The version that is installed on our lab computers is apparently a bit older than what is currently available. Several students were quick to offer to share their copy.  Just another typical situation where students had taken advantage of the power of the internet and wanted to share.

Photo Credit: Ross Elliott via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Ross Elliott via Compfight cc

Of course, it was a pirated version that they had downloaded and I had to politely decline and take advantage of the teachable moment.

Students are constantly adding music to presentations or using images from the web or their iTunes library without consulting usage rights or even using proper citation formats. There’s the common concept that if it is there, then it must be meant for them to use it. For the most part, its probably ok, but we need to do better having this conversation with our students.  The issue as usual is time. Where do the these sorts of lessons fit into the current school day?

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.52.24 PMIts definitely an issue that affects more than just students and schools. There are knockoffs and bootlegs of just about anything you can imagine. Just today I saw these posts on Twitter lamenting the difficulties of being a musician in a country where copyrights are difficult to enforce, which creates an issue for the artists.

With that said, I found it amazing that copyright has gone from a 14 year span to a lifetime plus 70 years. I also had no idea that copyright had been around since the time of Jefferson, albeit in a very different light.  In a way, I think this series of Tweets shows both sides of the story.

So how do we teach this in our classrooms? I think currently we have to make sure that we are at least having conversations and creating awareness.  I assume very few of us see ourselves as experts in the area, but we can seize the opportunities that present themselves, encourage Creative Commons usage and hope that eventually our schools catch up with our times Having technology and internet access isn’t enough to improve education.  We all know what Spidey said…

Photo Credit: jason a. cina via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jason a. cina via Compfight cc