Week 3 - Copyright Basics

Key words: copyright, idea/expression, term, jurisdiction, copyright ownership.

After reading this week’s readings, tackle this task to test your knowledge of copyright basics.

Please post (ie copy and paste) your answers in this week's google folder, under your group's number, by the end of Sunday November 22 and finish your peer review by the end of Tuesday November 24. Remember to note what group you're from when you leave peer review for other groups!

Kimberley is a secondary teacher and wants to use the following material in her science classes covering Charles Darwin:

  • extracts from Charles Darwin’s personal diaries and notebooks;

  • photographic images of Charles Darwin downloaded from the internet;

  • a YouTube clip of the documentary “The Genius of Charles Darwin”;

  • extracts of Darwin’s book “On The Origin of Species”;

  • a short clip from the BBC TV science documentary series “Life" with David Attenborough that she taped from television;

  • a one page fact sheet about evolution that she designed and compiled, which includes short extracts and images from a variety of sources;

  • her own original quizzes, research, teaching notes and text about Darwin, prepared as part of her teaching job.

Questions (to be answered by each group):

Note: if you need additional information to answer any of these questions, identify that information and how it would influence your responses.

Please do not include in your answer any reference to copyright exceptions or licences (statutory or voluntary). You'll have plenty of opportunity to show us how much you know about these later (weeks 4 and 5)! Just focus on learning the basics this week.

  1. Identify what subject matter category each resource would fall under. (ie what type of ‘work’ [eg literary, artistic, etc] or ‘other subject matter’ [eg film, sound recording, etc] the resource is).

  2. Are each of the resources still protected by copyright (ie is the resource still in copyright or has copyright expired)? And if so who owns it?

Note: we aren’t looking for a specific individual or company. We’re simply looking for the general rules for who owns copyright in the work/subject matter categories.

Questions to assist your understanding (not be answered):

  • What is copyright?
  • What activities does copyright prohibit?
  • Does copyright protect ideas or only expressions?
  • What types of materials does copyright cover?
  • What requirements must a resource meet for copyright to apply?
  • How long does copyright last? Is this the same for different types of material?
  • What are the rights of authors/copyright owners?
  • Who owns copyright in employment situations?


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