Creators or Consumers?
How do we face the challenge and importance of respecting intellectual property in our day-to-day learning and teaching? We know that we and our students should use “free” resources and cite our sources, but time and habits are often against us.
What we do to make it happen:
- Empower students to create their own content (movies, short stories, photos, graphic arts, etc.) to build their self-identity as artists, creating empathy and respect for fellow artists.
- Know the guidelines governing intellectual property use in Hong Kong
- Give students ample instructions and opportunities to practice and habituate proper citation formats.
- Hold students to citation standards. Whether it’s proper MLA or a URL, a citation should be breadcrumbs to find their way back to the original source.
- Model proper citation habits for our students, and explain our citation choices.
- Dissuade students from using screenshots of images. It’s a great tool: ⌘-Shift-4. But students need to learn and practice proper handling of images. A screenshot is of marginal quality and, short of a reverse image search, stripped of creator attribution. Either case is a disservice to the creator and consumer.
- When the most fitting media cannot be replicated, ask permission to publish. That means extra work. Yours truly has written to publishers to respectfully request permission to use copyrighted material and never received a response. Waste of time or learning opportunity? The latter if I spend more time on finding original music instead fruitlessly seeking permission after the fact.
Imagine the affirmation a seventh grade student feels when a corporation or foundation responds to their request with the same respect afforded published authors, TV producers, and movie directors.
- Help students level up from Google with these media search tools:
Creative Commons exists, in their own words, to enable the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools, and works alongside copyright. We still need to learn how to establish the credibility of our search. Notice the disclaimer: Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link.
Getty Images recently changed their market strategy, offering free embedding of their entire catalogue of photos, illustrations, and videos. You’ll need a membership to get an embed code, and user discretion is advised.
- Build relationships with artists so that students see intellectual property not as abstract, faceless files but as fellow creators. To this end I suggest we invite Fallout Boy, and the entire cast of The Avengers movies, and Vince Gilligan just to hang out with us for a week or month.
- What did I miss? Feel free to leave recommendations and resources in the comments.