Print enough of these 3 activity sheets so students can consider possible ways to copy others’ works using the Internet and learn that many forms of copying are illegal or unethical.
- Have one student cut apart Activity Sheet 1 and place the slips of paper in the paper bag.
- Group students in pairs. Allow each pair to draw a slip of paper from the bag and discuss the situation described.
- Invite one pair of students at a time to role play the situation described. One student plays the person described and the other plays the creator of the work being copied. NOTE: Postpone discussion until students have read and applied the information on Activity Sheet 2 and 3.
- Distribute Activity Sheet 2 and 3.
- Tell students that many Web sites have copyright notices explaining who owns the material and (sometimes) how it can be used.
- Explain that some artistic works are in the public domain. Public domain works include government documents and works whose copyright has run out. Such works are available for use by anyone.
Have students revisit the situations on their slips of paper and revise their role play to reflect the information on Activity Sheet 2 and 3. Guide students to consider the following:
- Copying photos, animations, greeting cards: These are all copyrighted works and should not be displayed on a personal site without obtaining permission.
- Copying photos and paragraphs of text for a school report: School reports are considered fair use, but the creators should be credited.
- Copying and rearranging paragraphs of text for a school report: Rearranging copied paragraphs is plagiarism, unless credit is given to each source. If the intent was to make it the student’s work, then the ideas would have to be put in the student’s own words.
- Copying passwords to enter systems without permission or paying: This is illegal.
- Copying and selling music files: In all cases these works are copyrighted and the creators may have not given permission to copy them.
- Copying and giving away software: The software creator is being denied a right to earn a living because the friend would otherwise have to purchase the word processor. This is illegal. Software typically comes with information about the purposes for which copies can be made.
- Copying movies for personal use: Movies are copyrighted works. By not paying to see the movie, you are denying the creators a right to earn a living.