Course 2: Week 1. Respect the Remix

Can the powers-that-be make this any more confusing?! I have the mindset people have positive intentions. This helps me to have better interpersonal relationships and better communication with others. In the same vein, I believe people try their best to follow the copyright rules but the rules are so complicated it’s hard to do.

I only started to hear about and understand copyright in the last 10 years or so. Copyright is still somewhat confusing to me; however, even before COETAIL Course 1, I knew I should give credit for images I use and not steal pictures from the internet. I like to use Google to search for images so I can filter by copyright use. I’ve advanced in my copyright use sensitivity to the point I will now create drawings I need if they are not fair use. Creative Commons and Fair Use are still fuzzy and I need to learn more about these areas. Also, I have been assuming when inserting images into Google slides and docs using the web search, these images are available for use without having to cite the source or request permission. Now, I’m wondering if I’ve made an inaccurate assumption and I need to research this further. I hope to know the answer by the end of this course.

When inserting images into Google slides and docs using the in-app web search, are these images filtered by usage rights for free to use?

Informing students and informing peers about the importance of respecting the intellectual property of others would be different conversations in my situation. I generally explain or remind students of the rules for using images in their presentations. Classroom teachers give a lesson to their students about Copyright usage and I try to reinforce the idea when I’m working with students. I don’t say anything to peers. Before this week, it hadn’t occurred to me it would be my place to tell a peer they need to check their copyright usage. I assume my peers know at lease as much as I know about the subject and are doing their best. If I were more confident in my understanding of respecting the intellectual property of others, I would be more willing to try to explain it to a peer.

As I was reflecting on intellectual property, I asked my 19-year-old son if he uses copyright rules in his school work. He’s a sophomore in college at UNC Wilmington and in general, I would expect he wouldn’t bother following the rules. However, he said he does sometimes.

“I mean it depends upon how serious it is. PowerPoint I threw together in 2 hrs for my history class heck no. Semester long project then yeah ima do the google image search thing where you make it only show images available for reusable.”

Jacob, Google Search filter user

The importance of respecting the intellectual property of others is an issue at my school. It doesn’t seem to be considered a high priority since it is not consistently enforced. Students turn in work without following the copyright usage rules and the work is accepted by the teachers. However, it is understandable when you’re trying to teach a seven-year-old to research and write on a topic, nitpicking about citing the source of images is not a high priority.

As an educator, I feel an obligation to teach my students about copyright. It is a normal part of education now and like teaching someone to drive a car or how to have appropriate online etiquette, students need to be directly instructed on the rules and expectations. In addition, I believe we should encourage our students to take their own photos and create their own drawings. Of course, this is more time consuming; however, the pride of ownership students gain will help them to be more conscientious of why we should respect others’ work.

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

In countries where international copyright law is not clearly defined or followed, I can teach copyright in two ways. First, I can model appropriate use in my own work. Second, I can point out unfairly used images when I come across them. It is my goal to become a better role model by the end of this course.