Mozilla Curriculum Workshop: Copyright for Youth Creators

Chad Sansing

Did you know that geoblocking due to copyright restrictions limits video streaming in many countries? Did you know in some parts of the EU, teachers aren’t legally allowed to screen films or share teaching materials in the classroom? In our September episode of the Mozilla Curriculum Workshop, we learned from guest speakers and participants from around the world about how copyright issues are at play in education and how they connect to – or might impact – your local community. Watch the full episode below:

Special guests included:

  • Christie Bahlai, an insect ecologist who works on combining big data with open science to build sustainable agriculture systems at the University of Michigan in East Lansing, Michigan, US
  • Mark Shilltoe, Director of Digital Learning & Media at Gems World Academy in Switzerland
  • Philip Harney, Technical & Educational Content Lead at Coder Dojo in Ireland

After discussing copyright laws, issues, and challenges in various countries as it pertains to education, participants and guest speakers landed on an idea for a useful, working prototype and the framework for a guide was born: “Setting up sharable, remixable projects that abide by copyright law”  (a.k.a. ”Hey! Do you want to share this?”). Guests and audience members posed ideas like:

  • How to begin with openness and ownership in mind.
  • Important questions to ask before starting a project.
  • Incorporating social media into your work (and sharing it).
  • Steps to follow for successfully sharing work online.
  • Open publishing best practices.
  • Available resources for more assistance.

Mark Shillitoe grounded the group’s conversation in students’ rights of ownership over the work they create. As Philip Harney said, “Just because you love it doesn’t mean you own it.” That’s not always clear to people creating content on the web. Caring educators have an important role to play in helping youth understand and navigate copyright and licensing so they can keep ownership of the content they’re proud to create and respect others’ rights to help ensure their own.

Indeed as Christie Bahlai noted, “Teaching copyright is a way to understand your place in the community.” By becoming more conversant with the copyright rules where they live, educators can help themselves and their students understand their places as creators and consumers locally, globally, and around the web.

We’d love your help to build out the guide and make it a resource to share with others. Add your ideas and feedback here and email Mozilla curriculum designer Chad Sansing if you’d like to contribute outside the etherpad. You can also learn more about Mozilla’s work to reform copyright and how you can get involved, here.

If you’d like to learn more about Maker Party and the copyright issues at play in the EU, check out our events page and these resources you can adapt to teach about copyright wherever you’re local in the world.

Unable to tune in at our normal broadcast time? Is audio better for you than video? Then listen to our March, April, May, June, July and September episodes as podcasts! Follow the links for .mp3 versions of each Mozilla Curriculum Workshop.

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