An Educator’s Guide to Intellectual Property
This article is about the laws and regulations of the use of articles, pictures, books, songs, movies, etc. The article discussed that if pieces of work were going to be used then the person using it is supposed to ask permission from the author or the copyright company. It was also discussed that pieces of work could be used without need for permission if the author or creator had been dead for 75 years or if the copyright had run out. Although teachers are allowed to use many pieces of work for educational use there are some stipulations. Teachers who copy pieces for their class can do so only a few times before they might be asked why they didn’t just buy a book for each student to use. Teachers are also allowed to show a movie but are not supposed to show a movie to every class as it is taking money away from the producers who created the movie.
There were many angles to this article but there were a few that stood out to me. As a teacher I am worried that I have unknowingly been someone who is violating the copyright laws in my classroom. I want nothing but to set a good example for my students. I think that information has become so easily accessible over the past 10 years that people no longer worry about using something that isn’t their own work. I found it interesting that verbal or written ideas are now automatically considered safe under the copyright law. As a student I do remember learning about the copyright laws and how you still had to register your work if you wanted it to be protected. I also did not realize that home videos and voicemail is protected under the law. I do know they talked about those things are generally not for educational use but it was a shock to me that those are also protected. When I thought about it more though, it does make sense. For example, if someone invented a new educational program and called a friend to tell them about it they should be protected from their friend copying their idea and trying to claim it as their own. It also surprised me that a child’s drawing and a comic strip is also protected from being displayed or copied. I understand that you can’t copy a comic strip without permission from the author but to post it on a bulletin board shocked me. I believe I have seen several posted in many school mail rooms that are used to keep teachers occupied while they wait on copies to be made.
This article makes me wonder if using ideas from Pinterest or other ideas taken off the internet from “How to blogs/ videos” is illegal? Also, are the incriminating pieces of evidence such as voicemails protected by the copyright laws? Do the police just automatically get rights to use the evidence in court because they believe someone has committed a crime? What about TMZ using celebrities’ voicemails to run their gossip columns? These questions may have been covered in the article but the jargon can be difficult to understand.