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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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4 Keeping it legal

One of the exciting things about the internet is that you can create, remix and share content. These are things that are increasingly easy to do, even for people who are relatively new to technology. In some cases you will create something new, from scratch. In other cases you may use something that you find.

If you want to use someone else’s material (often referred to as third party content), you need to think about getting permission to do so. This might be done in different ways: by contacting the rightsholder, through an exception such as Fair Dealing, or a Creative Commons license.

When you share your own original material online, you should also think about how you can best protect your own copyright and avoid confusion by any potential users of your content.

Activity 5 Starting to think about copyright

Timing: 15 minutes

Look at the following examples and decide what needs to be considered.

Example 1

Remixing means taking existing material and reworking it for your own purposes. It is very easy to do and you may have seen videos on Facebook or YouTube where people have used films or famous songs for their own videos. The video below is an example – it was made to teach the scientific method and uses the music Gangnam Style by Psy.

Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Example 2

Writing a blog and posting ideas for cooking or lifestyle, for example, is relatively popular. To make the blog more appealing to its audience, attractive photos are often used.

The blog [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] is an example (make sure to open in a new window/tab).

Example 3

In a work context, you might create a website to promote your own business. To attract potential customers, you might want to include photos, videos and quotes from existing customers.

You can find an example website of a business using such an approach here: Celebrate personal training (make sure to open in a new window/tab).

If you need to contact the rightsholder to seek permission, make sure you allow plenty of time for a response and explain the context of your use and the media in which you want to reproduce their content.

For the remainder of this week you’ll be finding out more about copyright law and how it is used. You’ll also learn about Creative Commons licences, which offer a quick and easy way to protect your own rights when you share original material, as well as Fair Dealing.