In ECMP 355 we watched a video called Rip: A Remixer’s Manifesto. The video was a documentary about copyrights and the effects they have had on our current society. The video discussed a number of issues, including the views from music remixers who “steal music” to remix into a new sound, copyright and copyleft, and how/why copyrights were created in the first place.
One of the points from the movie that got me thinking was “our future is becoming less free.” This was a concept I have never thought of before; Canada is a free country, how could our future become “less free”? Our future is becoming less free because copyrights restrict the use of material, which limits the use of the material which truly does reduce the freedom that we experience.
As a future educator copyrights are a major concern. Copyrights are a serious business, numerous people have been sued for illegally downloading music and breaking copyright laws. Music isn’t the only material with copyrights, images, text, and other materials are often copyrighted. This becomes a concern to educators because of the material that we or our students may be using the classroom. Different materials that are used in everyday classrooms or that are used to complete assignments and presentations may in fact be copyrighted. As the video states, “our future is becoming less free” and students are restricted of their use of materials through copyright laws. If teachers and students are not allowed to use copyrighted materials, that severely limits the resources that the education system can use to educate students.
Although copyright laws restrict use of copyrighted material, teachers may use copyrights materials in the classroom under the claim of fair use. So in fact, teachers may use copyrighted material in the classroom but may not use such materials for a non-educational purpose. How do we explain to students that they may use copyrighted material in the classroom, but only to an extent? And that by illegally downloading music at home, they are breaking copyright laws? How do current educators deal with copyrights in their everyday classrooms?