Prior to reading about copyright in class I had little to no knowledge about the laws. The little knowledge I had was limited to knowing that the “Happy Birthday to You” song could not be sang at restaurants (hence why they sang their own songs to customers). I was aware that some laws seemed confusing, and of course I understood that creators of pieces of art, movies, books, pictures, etc all have a right to their “masterpieces”. Also, I understood that reproducing or copying orignal work to the public was illegal, but I was not clear on the rules that teachers have because they are using it for learning purposes. The laws in regarding to time was always a little confusing to me as well, the dates and the amount of years that copyright is available to the creator was never clear to me, until I read the Copyright FAQs page.
**Sidenote: I recently found out that the “Happy Birthday to You” song has finally been released to the public domain after many years of lawyer battles. (Looks like we’ll be hearing the song everywhere.)**
I was really interested in reading the Copyright Frequently Asked Questions. When I read
this page, I was interested to find that copyright is automatically provided to authors of “original works of authorship”. Currently, the law says that we cannot create new works based upon the original works, which can be a little gray area with the new technology we have today (see the next paragraph). Also, I was unaware that you are not allowed to perform or display the work publicly (like a play) without the consent of the creator.
I see copyright law affecting teachers if the laws do not change. We need to update our laws to adjust to the changing technological times. The TED video talks about how children of this generation are not just bystanders in the world of creation, they are creators themselves. They are making new things, as well as remodeling old pieces as well. Our laws need to adjust to not only protect the original works, but also to protect the rights to people’s creativity.
Note: Featured image Source: Cyber Law Centre