• Copyright protects a person or organisation’s work and stops others from using it without their permission. Copyright automatically applies when someone creates original literary and non-literary works such as books, movies, videos, images, songs/music, video games and software. If someone copies or uses the work of someone else without permission, the owner may take legal action. Without copyright, creators would not get fairly paid for their work, which could make it harder for them to create anything in the future.
  • Creative Commons licenses are free copyright licences to give others permission to share and use creative works. They allow the creator to apply certain conditions of use to their work such as specifying whether others are allowed to share adaptations of the original work or whether the creator’s work can be used for commercial purposes. Creative Commons also allows a creator to release their work into the public domain and waive their rights to it.
  • Most online services state in their terms and conditions that reuse, sharing or uploading of copyrighted material without permission on their platforms is not permitted. Some social networks and video sharing sites use systems to automatically spot copyright infringement – record labels, movie studios and TV stations upload reference materials to help the system spot when others are using copyrighted content.
  • If someone is found to have used copyrighted content without permission, they may be asked to remove that content from a platform. Some social networks automatically block or remove content if it is found to be in breach of copyright. Some video sharing services may allow the content to remain but allow the original creator to request that advertising is displayed in order to monetize the upload to recompense the creator.
  • Ownership of content you have created using apps/online services or have shared on social networks can sometimes be complicated. While you maintain ownership of any content you post on a social network, the network may also have very broad licence rights to use your content. This often includes a right to adapt and use the content however they wish, to use the content worldwide and with no obligation to pay you any royalties. These terms are stated in the Terms and Conditions/Terms of Use and are agreed to when a user creates an account.
  • Discuss with your students what copyright is and why it is important. Explain that copyright helps people get paid fairly for their work and that getting paid things for free online or using others’ creative works without permission can prevent that. 
  • Help your students to become familiar with Creative Commons licences and how they allow your child to reuse or share the work of others. Remind your students that their creations and the work of others is automatically protected by copyright, and that asking permission before using the work of others is important.
  • Remind your students that, although it may sometimes be easy to find paid or copyright content for free online, that doesn’t give them the right to use or share it. Your school may have rules or guidelines about what students can or can’t use from the internet in their own work.
  • Discuss with your student the ways in which social networks and online services can share the content of its users without asking permission – do they think this is fair? Discuss the content they like to create and share online, and what they would be happy/unhappy for a social network to share or reuse.