Lesson 15: Intellectual Property

Overview

Starting with an exploration of the song "Happy Birthday", and its history of copyright protection despite being a common American cultural staple, the class will explore the purpose and role of copyright for both creators and users of creative content. After a brief discussion about the purpose of copyright, we move on to an activity exploring the various Creative Commons licences as a solution to the difficulty in dealing with copywrite.

Finally, with a common understanding of the restrictions of various Creative Commons licenses, students will research and develop a web page to inform the public about a topic of personal importance. This site will use (and properyly cite) content and media found on the internet.

Purpose

Until this point the only content that students have used on their webpages is their own, but it's common, and quite useful, to be able to integrate information and media created by others. Before learning about the technical ways to do this, however, we need to step back and gain a common understand of the restrictions and purpose of copyright. We use the Creative Commons license as a clearer alternative to the more restrictive standard copyright and guide students through searching for, using, and properly citing Creative Commons licenced media. This is also the first lesson where students will learn to use the element to link to other websites.

Agenda

Warm Up (5 min)

Activity 1 (20 min)

Activity 2 (20 min)

Wrap Up (5 min)

Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of copyright.
  • Identify the rights and restrictions granted by various Creative Commons licenses
  • Correctly cite a CC licensed image on a web page

Preparation

Links

For the Teacher

For the Students

Vocabulary

  • Citation - A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.
  • Copyright - the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
  • Creative Commons - A public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.
  • Intellectual Property - A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

Introduced Code

Support

Report a Bug

Teaching Guide

Warm Up (5 min)

Journal: Use of Your Work

Goal: Students think about how it would feel if someone used their ideas or work without giving them credit.

Set up: Students should have their journals out.

Teaching Tip

To make this hit close to home you may want to change the prompt to pick a particular form of social media that students are interested in. Keep in mind the goal of this warm up as you change the prompt.

Journal: If you took an awesome picture and someone put it on their social media account and claimed they took it how would you feel? What if they made money off of it?

Discuss: Once students are done journaling have them share out their feelings and claiming content that isn't your own.

Activity 1 (20 min)

Video: Watch Should "Happy Birthday" be Protected by Copyright? - Video as a class. Stop at 5:38 in the video.

Remarks

Just a few years after that video was made, a federal judge ruled that "Happy Birthday" actually belongs in the public domain, due to some previously unknown publishings of the song lacking a copyright notice. Never the less, the fact that the copyright to a song so commonly used in popular culture was upheld so long brings up interesting questions about the purpose and benefits of copyright law.

Prompt: Given what you learned in the video, and what you may already know about copyright, what do you think about the current state of copyright law?

The purpose of this discussion is simply to get students thinking about the role of copyright in popular culture. Some students will come into this discussion with strong opinions, but if your students struggle with this discussion you can prompt them with the following questions:

  • What is copyright designed to do?
  • How can copyright foster creativity?
  • How can copyright hinder creativity?
  • Does copyright seem fair to you? Why or why not?

Discuss: Have students share their thoughts on copyright.

The Creative Commons Solution

Remarks

The standard copyright is not only incredibly long lasting and restrictive, but it's also unclear when a creation is covered under copyright. Copyright is granted the moment something is created, so unless explicitly told otherwise, we have to assume any picture, video, or other media we find online is fully covered by copyright law. Fortunately, there's an alternative. The Creative Commons (CC) licence was developed to address both the ambiguity and restrictiveness of the standard copyright.

Group: Pair students

Distribute: Give each student a copy of Licensing Your Work - Activity Guide

Licensing Your Work

License Componenets

Teaching Tip

Students may struggle with whether the use of a work is derivative or not. The rule of thumb is to consider whether your use of a licensed work would be considered a new copyrightable work.

Converting an image from digital to print, or a song from CD to mp3 would not create a derivative work, but animating a drawing or adding new lyrics to a song would be creating derivative works.

The first page of this activity covers the components of a Creative Commons license and asks students to brainstorm reasons why a content creator might want to include each component in their license. Push students to think critically here about both the value each component adds to the creator, but also the ways it might limit the cultural exchange of ideas.

Choosing the Right License

The second page of this activity provides students with six CC licenses and three content creator scenarios. For each scenario, students are asked to evaluate which of the six provided licenses is the least restrictive but still addresses the concerns and needs of the content creator.

Discussion Goal

While there may not be a specific "right" license for each of these scenarios, encourage students to always consider whether the license they chose is more restrictive than it strictly needs to be. One of the design goals of the Creative Commons license is to increase the amount of creative material available to the general public, promoting the sharing of intellectual property for the common good. With this in mind we should only be adding the minimal restrictions needed to meet the content creators wishes.

Discuss: Ask several students to share out their responses to the Choosing the Right License scenarios. Encourage discussion and debate if students identified different licenses for the same scenarios.

Activity 2 (20 min)

Web Page for a Cause

Prompt: What is a cause that is personally relevant or important to you? Something that you think more people should be aware of or care about? If you were going to make a website about a cause you care about what would be the goal of the website.

Teaching Tip

Encourage students to consider specific goals here, as that will help them in developing content for their page. For example:

Weak goal: I want people to know about animal adoption

Strong goal: I want people to be able to find a pet adoption center nearby and help them to identify the type of adopted pet that is right for their lifestyle.

Journal: Write down your cause and the goal of your cause website in your journal.

Share: Ask some students to share both their causes and website goals.

Code Studio Levels

Transition: Send students to Code Studio.

Circulate: As students are working on their research and website, check to make sure that they are using appropriately licensed media and proving accurate attribution. Spot check by asking for the license details of specific images.

Wrap Up (5 min)

Your Own CC License

Journal: Think of all the personally created items that you've put on your website so far, and those that you may add in the future. Without a clear license all of those of things (and your web pages themselves) and covered under the fully restrictive copyright. Which Creative Commons license would you rather use (if any) and why?

If there is time you may want to consider having students return to their site and add the Creative Commons lisence they decided they would like their website to have. They can add a footer at the bottom of each page with their Creative Commons License.

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The Internet - Web Development: Lesson 15 - Intellectual Property

Background

Starting with an exploration of the song "Happy Birthday", and its history of copyright protection despite being a common American cultural staple, the class will explore the purpose and role of copyright for both creators and users of creative content. After a brief discussion about the purpose of copyright, we move on to an activity exploring the various Creative Commons licences as a solution to the difficulty in dealing with copywrite.

Vocabulary

  • Citation - A quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work.
  • Copyright - the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
  • Creative Commons - A public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created.
  • Intellectual Property - A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

New Blocks

Resources

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Student Instructions

Cause Page

Let's start by setting up the page you will be using to create your cause page.

Do This

  • Add a new HTML file to your project for your cause page.
  • Add a title, viewport, and description
  • Link the style sheet for your website to the cause page
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Student Instructions

Finding Supporting Content

Before worrying about the images and other media you may want on this page, the first thing you'll need to do is source information for your page's content. While you may already know a lot about your chosen topic, you will want to find supporting information from reliable sources to include.

Copyright covers all original creative works including websites. You might think then that we need to either get permission to reference content from any website we find, or identify Creative Commons licensed websites, but there's another way to appropriately use copyrighted material.

Fair Use

Fair Use refers to limited uses of copyrighted material that are considered "transformative" such as:

  • Provide commentary or criticism (such as news articles, or the web page you are creating)
  • Parody (such as Saturday Night Live sketches)
  • Educational use (such as reading an excerpt of an article in class)

Fair use is pretty vaguely defined by law, but is generally designed to protect people from copyright infringement claims when the use doesn't prevent the copyright holder from profiting from their licensed material. It's important to not, however, that under fair use you still need provide attribution.

You can learn more about Fair Use on the Stanford Copyright and Fair Use website

Do This

Head out to do some research on your topic of choice. Try to find 2-3 websites that you can site in support of your position, and make sure to write down their URLs. When referring to information found on those sites you'll need to provide a link as a form of attribution.

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Student Instructions

Finding Media

Now that your content is in place, it's time to find some good images and other media to help make your page look better, and potentially strengthen your argument.

Becuase the Creative Commons provides such a simple way to know what media you can and can't use, a lot of search engines have integrated Creative Commons filtering to ensure they only give you results you can use. The Creative Commons search page (linked below) is a compilation of CC friendly search engines that you can use to find media for your page.

Do This

Using the Creative Commons Search page, find a handful of pictures that you'll want to use on your web pages. By default the search is set to the most restrictive settings. Next to the the text I want something that I can... you can uncheck use for commercial purposes. You can also uncheck modify, adapt, or build upon as long as you don't plan on modifying the images you find (such as adding text, cropping, or otherwise editing).

For each image you plan on using:

  • Download a copy to your computer (so that you can upload it to your website in the next step)
  • Write down all information you can find about the author, such as
    • Name, or screenname
    • URL of website (not URL of the image itself)
    • Title of image
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Student Instructions

Adding Your Images

With images and attribution information in hand, it's time to spruce up your new page.

Do This

Upload your images to Web Lab and, using tags, add them where you'd like them to go. For each image:

  • Add a descriptive alt attribute
  • Add attribution underneath the image, including
    • Name or screenname of author (if available)
    • Title of image (if available)
    • Link to original site (you can make the whole attribution text a link)
    • License image was published under either in text (eg CC-BY) or using a badge from the Creative Commons website.

For example

Sad Dog

Longhaired Dachshund portrait by Flickr user Soggydan CC-BY

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Student Instructions

Finishing Touches

You have the content, you have pretty images, now put the finishing touches on your page.

Do This

Make sure you page meets the checklist below then make this page your own and get it ready for publishing. Specifically, consider the following:

  • Styling: Add new style rules to your CSS file and give your page some flair.
  • Organization: Does the structure of your content make it easy for users to find the information you want them to see?
  • Publishing Review: Use your Web Development Practices to review your site for publishing readiness.

If you made improvements to your home page ake sure to take a screenshot of your home page and save it somewhere on your computer so you can find it later (Need help with how to screenshot? Check out this website .)

Checklist

  • There is a separate HTML file for your cause site with a descriptive name
  • The web page has a title, viewpoint, and description
  • The web page is linked to your stylesheet for your website.
  • A first level header with a catchy title for your page
  • A second level header for each separate argument to support your cause
  • Paragraphs of content under each second level header
  • A link to the appropriate site where you need to cite outside sources
  • All images you are using are uploaded into your web lab project
  • All images have a descriptive alt attribute
  • All images have attribution underneath the image, including:
    • Name or screenname of author (if available)
    • Title of image (if available)
    • Link to original site (you can make the whole attribution text a link)
    • License image was published under either in text (eg CC-BY) or using a badge from the Creative Commons website.

Standards Alignment

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