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To teach students to be media literate, they -- and their teachers -- need to be able to critically engage with media. That may seem obvious, but until last year teachers' ability to use media texts in the classroom was extremely limited by the Copyright Act. Thanks to the expansion of the Fair Dealing exemption, fortunately, teachers and students are now able to use media in much more meaningful ways.
The two-part test: exemptions
To determine if something is Fair Dealing, a two-part test is applied. The first test is whether or not the use falls under one of the exemptions: research, private study, criticism or review, news reporting, parody and satire or education.
In this section we explore the ethics, laws, and rights that surround questions of intellectual property. Whether it’s a question of downloading music, borrowing graphics and photos, or copying text from an academic source, there are bound to be questions about what is and what is not fair use.
CopyrightThe right of an owner of intellectual property to control how that property is copied, altered, sold, etc. In most countries today copyright does not have to be registered, but the property must be (largely) finished – ideas cannot be copyrighted.
What we usually mean by property – physical things which we own – is called real property to distinguish it from intellectual property. Real property – things that actually exist, like cars and sandwiches – is easy enough to understand, and we’re mostly familiar with the ways its ownership can be transferred: it can be sold outright, sold in part, rented or leased (you wouldn’t want to rent a sandwich, but legally there’s no reason why you couldn’t.) Intellectual property, on the other hand, is more complicated.
Downloading copyrighted material without paying for it, by any means including file sharing, is illegal. In Canada, the Copyright Act protects all intellectual property and forbids unauthorized copying.
Users who share files break the law in two ways:
This tutorial aims to teach students essential digital literacy skills through simulating their favourite online experiences. The tutorial is divided into four chapters, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of digital literacy: researching and authenticating online information, managing privacy and reputation, dealing with online relationships and using digital media in an ethical manner.
After the controversy surrounding last year's proposed copyright bill C-61, which eventually died on the order table when Parliament was prorogued, the Federal government has decided to hold consultations across Canada before introducing a new version of the bill. While only time will tell how responsive the government will be to the public's submissions, the series of town halls and round tables is definitely a good start in making the process transparent and taking the views of a wide variety of Canadians into account.