Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Copyright Laws

The copyrights for teachers are in place for specific materials that can be copied if they fit into the curriculum. For example if a teacher is to copy articles, stories or essays less than 2,500 words it can be done as long as it is used in the classroom, although these copies can only be made if they are made from legally acquired originals. Another thing I learned was about videotapes either purchased or rented also DVDs and Laserdiscs, Teachers may use these materials in the classroom and copies may be made if the copy is to replace the one lost or damaged. Like all the other materials it must be acquired legally and in a classroom or in a nonprofit environment. I never realized how many restricts there were on copy rights and how much that affects the materials acquired by the teacher they may want to use or share with their students.

Now looking back at my education I have seen a few copyright violations or some that were very borderline. There have been teachers that have made several copies of short stories or of other articles that have been given to every student. Although that is allowed is the copying of those articles by all the teachers and sharing them together I see as being borderline in copyright. Although they have a legally acquired copy of the short story or article the spreading of them around to other teacher seems to be on the edge of violating copyright.

I have observed several copyright violations outside of school, especially of the movie and music industries. Not only are there fights about who had the right to similar song titles or similar lyrics but people download music and movies illegally. I have seen several people either watch a movie that is in the movie theater at that time either online or have it on a “bootlegged” DVD. I also know many people who have download music illegally too either from sites such as “Limewire” or going through “YouTube” and using a special program to transfer it into a music document file. All of these actions are in violation of the copyright laws. They are taking property that is not theirs and the artist is not receiving any credit for the work that they have done. I have also seen many of these people receive letters from the government ordering them to stop the illegal downloads or there would be further consequences. I have also seen people end their illegal downloading because they had received computer viruses through illegal downloading.

As a future teacher I feel it should be part of our responsibility to make students aware that violating copyright laws is wrong and that there will be consequences. There is always someone watching your every move and can get you into some serious trouble if caught breaking the law. I know for secondary there will be a great deal to talk about with those students especially because they think they will not get caught downloading a song or movie. Violators will be caught and there are ways to go about getting permits to use someone else's work. We also go about teaching this through giving credit to other when writing essays either quoting a source directly or using it in a generalization everything must be given it recognition so not to be consider “plagiarism.” There is only so much teachers can teach students about copyright laws and how to prevent the violations in schools its making them aware of the consequences they can face when they are outside of school.

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