Every piece of original authorship is granted copyright ownership, affording exclusive rights to the owner for reproduction, distribution, derivative works, public performance or display. Though the requirements of original authorship may be contested, it is clear that students produce thousands of original creative works every school year– be they essays and art projects or tweets and Instagram photos. So, what should students and parents know about copyright?
In light of these concerns, students and parents can take the following steps to avoid conflict through better understanding the digital content arena and their own creative rights:
- Note the differences in reblogging, repinning, or retweeting something (within the normal parameters of the social media platform) versus re-posting others’ content without permission and attribution.
- Pay attention to the ways in which people protect their copyrights but enable sharing via licenses (such as those by Creative Commons), and consider utilizing these tools. Many platforms, such as Flickr and Soundcloud, have integrated CC.
- Understand that not all copying is infringement: fair use protects otherwise infringing uses for the purposes of criticism/parody, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Many creative uses of digital media are covered under fair use.
In order to foster a healthy, collaborative, and creative environment on social media and beyond, we must take steps to understand how to respectfully create and share content.
Image credit: opensource.com via Flikr creative commons.