RE: [art_education] Copyright tar pits
I know this is really a hard subject to tackle in our technology age. I was really hit hard with this reality while teaching Computer Graphics classes in high school. You are not very popular when you stick to the copyright rules. Kids were not allowed to create projects that were not their own photos, music and art. The kids are so used to peeling things off the internet, that it was a big struggle for them to grasp the “make it yourself” concept. I had several class discussions where a kid would honestly ask, “You mean it is against the law even if I can right click and copy?” It has become so prevalently done that no one really sees it as a big deal. Unless, you are guy getting the letter in the mail from a lawyer or the guy that sees something you created on 100 websites. It is one of the things that CHARACTER COUNTS founder Michael Josephson talks about on his podcasts. It’s not just school kids that miss the ethics of copyright, how about the ethics in business and government as well. At some point WE have to teach character. It is hard when everyone “is” doing it, but does that make it right? I like Josephson’s saying, “Teaching character does not add to the plate, it is the plate.” Look for the teachable moments like copyright. You think we are confused by it, I’m here to tell you that the kids have no idea. And you can bet that they would rather pick the easy button to do assignments and term papers if at all possible.
Have any of you ever gotten a paper from a kid that was copy and pasted from Wikipedia complete with blue links? I have. Do you let that slide too? Josephson also teaches in Character Counts training, “What you ignore, you condone.”
Copyright books I use in the class room,”Copyright Plain and Simple” by Cheryl Besenjak and “The Public Domain” a Nolo Book by Stephen Fishman. The later explains the law and what you can and can’t use. Then if there is a judgment call to be made you can have the kid look it up. I have had a lot of students that think that Public Domain is a real place.