New Copyright Laws.. is there a downside?

The Copyright Modernization Act passed in 2012 has provided greater flexibility in the use of available materials for learning purposes.  Education is now considered an allowable area under the Fair Dealings provision of the new copyright laws.  In addition, as described by Deputy Minister Tim Wiles,  “the updated Act now contains a clause clarifying that teachers and students may use publicly available Internet materials for their learning and educational pursuits.”(Wiles, personal communication, Dec. 7, 2012).

While this is indeed good news for educators, I wonder if there may be a negative side effect to these less restrictive copyright laws.   Nenych (2011) stated “Until the Copyright Act is amended to facilitate use of materials in educational settings, it is important to keep in mind that making unauthorized copies of copyrighted materials poses legal risks. (p. 6).  The use of the word ‘until’ suggests that once educational settings are legally considered a purpose for dealings, teachers will not need to be so concerned with copyright infringement.  Now that schools are included in the fair dealings, how likely will it be that teachers suddenly consider it a priority to ensure understanding of these less restrictive laws?  If things have become easier, then where is the need or motivation to become fully knowledgeable about these laws, which do still have several limitations?

I believe that teaching about copyright laws is an essential component of Digital Citizenship, and agree that “..students, faculty, and other users of copyrighted materials need to perceive copyright law as just and ethical,” not simply a rule to obey to avoid punishment. (Horova, 2010).  The question is, how do we make it happen?

Horava, T. (2010). Copyright communication in Canadian academic libraries: a national survey. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Sciences, 34(1), 1-38.

Nenych, L. A. (2011). Managing the legal risks of high-tech classrooms. Contemporary Issues In Education Research, 4(3), 1-7.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to New Copyright Laws.. is there a downside?

  1. A valid question: How do we make it happen? Do you think teachers talking to teachers, including it on staff meeting agendas, and incorporating it into PLC conversations is a good start? If copyright is part of digital citizenship conversations, is that enough to affect teaching and learning for students? I believe that it would be a good start, but it does not ensure intentional teaching. If we want teachers, parents and students to be cognizant of copyright, our communication and education of copyright laws needs to be intentional.

    “It is only natural the libraries take the lead in educating about copyright.” (Horava, 2010) Libraries are a logical locus of responsibility for the communicating and educating of copyright. Exceptions exist, such as in our school. Although we have a school library, it is staffed with one part-time library technician. She obviously needs support from a much broader range of staff members to help educate staff and students. What does the communication and education of copyright look like in your school?

    Reference
    Horava, T. (2010). Copyright communication in Canadian academic libraries: a national survey. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Sciences, 34(1), 1-38.

    • kelasher says:

      Conversations are indeed only a start. Yet in my experiences, not even these are happening. Perhaps teaching copyright needs to become a more heavily mandated curriculum in order for it to be properly addressed in schools. As for what is happening in my school, earlier this week, a committee af teachers met to discuss the transition from library to learning commons. As part of the plans, our principal is considering ways to once again have a full time teacher librarian, in addition to the part-time technician you describe. Should this plan come to fruition, it could help bring not only conversations but also instructional actions around copyright laws.

  2. Skye says:

    I like Debbie’s comments regarding intentional conversations. Copyright is not an exciting topic in my opinion but when we bring analogies, current events such as the music industry copyright infringement issues, etc to the learning process for teachers, students and the general public to get involved in the conversation that for me is where learning takes place. Kim I think you may be right that the conversations just aren’t happening and I really think it’s in part due to the ideas that “Libraries need to find opportunities for sharing best practices and experiences to learn from each other’s approaches and strategies.” (Horava, 2010) But I think it should go beyond the libraries. What are corporations doing, how is the professional world beyond educational systems educating their employers? What are parents doing? It does seem like a global conversation should be started. What about the role of television/online news or radio shows bringing it up? I bet they could get a conversation started. Has anyone brought this topic up with their schools and classrooms since we began learning about it on Monday? What has the response been? I’m finding it difficult to get the conversation going because no one I’ve spoken to seems to care very much.

    Reference
    Horava, T. (2010). Copyright communication in Canadian academic libraries: a national survey. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Sciences, 34(1), 1-38.

    • kelasher says:

      No one in my school seems to much care either. I had two separate conversations with colleagues around their copyright infringement behaviours this week. Their responses involved finding justification or a loop hole for their actions, or simple confidence that they wouldn’t get caught. You may be right in suggesting that a conversation involving media and corporations may go further than what is happening in schools.

  3. If I could pose a response to comments above in realtion to a lack of interest from some colleagues in relation to Digital Copyright… If we as a teaching profession are downplaying the importance of a societal law, onc that we could model effecitvely almost on a daily basis, what message are we conveying to our yound citizens that sit before us? Are we modeling that some laws apply and others do not? Is this a good model of citizenshiip?

  4. Carole says:

    “I believe that teaching about copyright laws is an essential component of Digital Citizenship, and agree that “..students, faculty, and other users of copyrighted materials need to perceive copyright law as just and ethical,” not simply a rule to obey to avoid punishment. (Horova, 2010). The question is, how do we make it happen?”

    How do we make it happen? While it is important that we all know and follow the copyright laws, I know that my staff has not discussed copyright or digital citizenship in many years, not even sure I have been part of a discussion about it in the past 10+ years anywhere other then at the University level. I think we have to start small, work with the students that we have access to and hope that they take it and roll with it, then when they work with others, they can share their knowledge of how to correctly reference works and find creative commons images, etc.

    Carmen – I agree that we cannot choose to teach our students/children some laws and not others. I can’t imagine that we talk to our students around some issues such as stealing – ie.. you can’t steal from others, and then not talk about copyright and “stealing” peoples ideas and images, etc for our work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s