To Download or Not to Download? A New Video Explores Copyright Laws

To Download or Not to Download? A New Video Explores Copyright Laws

The Software and Information Industry Association has released Don't Copy That 2, which includes a rap video and classroom resources to discuss online copyright infringement, piracy and how to become a responsible digital citizen.

In 1992, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) released an educational video that described to students the dangers of copying information from floppy disks, called Don't Copy that Floppy. But the Internet, with its file sharing and nonstop social media, made the problem of copyright infringement much worse. For this reason, SIIA has released Don't Copy That 2, which includes a rap video and classroom resources to discuss online copyright infringement, piracy and how to become a responsible digital citizen. SIIA is the leading trade association for the software and digital content industries. One of its principal missions is to protect the intellectual property of member companies.

According to Karen Billings, vice president of the education division at SIIA, the video is targeted toward middle and high school students because they're ready to understand the concepts around ethical use. She suggests the curriculum would best be showcased in a computer course discussing online responsibility.

"There's an ease of use for people who can copy and can download, and there's confusion around what those rights are," says Billings. "All the materials have different licensing agreements." The introduction of open-source classroom materials—such as those provided through Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that develops technical infrastructure to encourage digital sharing through which teachers can use and change curricula and lesson plans—adds more confusion, says Billings. "People are developing materials to use and change to meet student's needs, but it's becoming very complicated."

Downloading content illegally can also result in incarceration. The video interviews a person in prison for making copies of digital content and then selling the copies for profit.

"In the video, it shows how one thing led to another. each line got closer and easier to cross. People keep going because they don't think they're going to get caught," says Billings.

To legally download the video, visit www.dontcopythat2.com.


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