Project Working demands a greater level of awareness and more follow through on issues of copyright.
If you are working on a project - something that is undertaken with clear objectives over a period of time then managing copyright should be included at the earliest stage of planning, particularly if the work involves a group of people and the outcome is to be widely shared. This applies to students, school projects, a teacher making their own resources or a funded project. The more formal and public the publication or distribution, the more care with copyright will need to be taken. Three areas to consider:
- The materials you are using - have you the permissions in place?
- The format you are using to publish or distribute the outcomes - do you need a licences if you, for instance are using music from a copyright source?
- The copyright you put on the work you create. How is this managed if there is a group of people involved or the content has pupil materials in it?
- plan project
- list resources needed and verify sources
- acknowledge the use of materials and references they use as part of good academic, copyright and anti-plagiarism practice (do this as you collect the resources otherwise you’ll end up with ‘stuff’ that you’ve forgotten where it came from!)
- are there any third party materials?
- Can you get permissions (are there alternatives if it looks tricky/expensive?)
- not misuse or misrepresent other people’s work - moral rights, derogatory use, defamation, etc.
- think it through from both sides - the user and creator point of view
- think through who you are publishing it to … and where in internet/network terms they are
- think through what platform (are there licence implications?)
- if working abroad how does copyright and licences fit with the laws of their country ?
- discuss the wider issues of how copyright fits with other wider issues of citizenship, world of work, etc.
- discuss wider issues of other rights; privacy; moral rights; etc.
The Web2Rights project has published an online diagnostic tool about Clearing Permissions. The online tool takes the user through the complexity of third party clearance procedures and could be a useful training tool once the basics set out in Copy Rights and Wrongs have been covered. Test yourself here Web2Rights IPR Diagnostic Tool
The IPR Toolkit provides a great deal of detailed information about managing copyright issues in a digital environment. It is general advice for the public sector and not written specifically for schools though much of the material and tools can be adapted without great difficulty.
The documents published in the IPR toolkit have Creative Commons BY-NC Licences - i.e. requiring acknowledgment of the authors and do not permit commercial use. As with ’Copy Rights and Wrongs’ the information provided is for general guidance and schools should take their own advice on particular issues.