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WebQuests (ICT Integration)

Be Right About Copyright

While you are at school you are protected to some extent by a copyright allowance made to education known as "fair use". This could cause you to believe that you can copy information and media freely at any time. In fact this mistaken assumption has led to students failing to achieve degree qualifications and employees losing their jobs. It is therefore vitally important that you understand copyright and the fair use agreement while you are still at school. Are you protected from prosecution on copyright laws while at school? Let's find out.


You and your friends run a small advertising company specialising in poster productions. A major publisher, sponsoring a writing education project, has engaged your company to produce a series of four posters on copyright. The posters should each deliver a clear and concise message to learners and teachers.


As a collection of four posters your message should answer these four questions without including the actual questions on the poster:
  1. What is copyright? What is intellectual property?
  2. What may teachers and learners copy and under what circumstances?
  3. How do we avoid plagiarism?
  4. Where may you publish under fair use?
One question does not necessarily have to be answered on one poster: as a team you may design your own campaign and decide what information goes on each poster.

For this assignment, you will work in teams of four and you will divide your task into roles as follows (click on each role for more information):

Copyright specialist
Your task is to research and fully understand copyright and intellectual property. You should know under what circumstances a learner or teacher may use information and how this should be attributed. You will need to explain this to your team so that they all understand it the same way as you do.
Fair Use Specialist
Your task is to research and fully understand fair use. You will have to make a note of what portions of various media may be used for educational purposes, when it may be used and how this should be acknowledged. You will need to communicate this information to your team, especially the copywriter.
Poster Design Specialist
Your task is to research and fully understand the best principles of poster design and to share these with your team as you design the posters. Create a bold graphic design for the posters and a common design element running through all four posters. You will need to understand the content of the posters and consider the spaces for text. In order to do this you will need to communicate with your team.
Your task is to firstly research and fully understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. Secondly research the best principles of copywriting on posters. You will need to discuss the various questions with your team and take responsibility for drafting the copy (the text) of the posters. Work with the poster designer on your team in order to find the optimum balance between text and graphic elements.

Meet as a team to discuss the number and types of articles that you would like to include on your website. Construct a mind map to help you identify the categories and levels of content that you will need to include on your website.

Once you have identified the content the webmaster will assign tasks and deadlines in consultation with the representatives. Discuss the layout and design of the website. You will share the responsibility of preparing the layout and you will work as a team with your webmaster when compiling the final product.

Your website should abide by the following guidelines:
- no frames pages (to ensure easy printing)
- pages should be printable
- subtle, yet clear graphic identity
- you must thoroughly cover the topic
- fulfill the criteria listed in the assessment sheet


Copyright and Fair Use
» http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/faqs/
Frequently-Asked Questions on Copyright

» http://www.ipo.gov.uk/
Frequently-Asked Questions on Intellectual Property

» http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
10 Big Myths about Copyright Explained

» http://www.ncsu.edu/project/posters/
Creating Effective Poster Presentations

» http://www.plagiarism.org
An online resource for educators concerned with the growing problem of Internet plagiarism.


Your understanding of copyright, intellectual property and fair use will stand you in good stead. By producing these posters you have made a valuable contribution to the education of your peers.

» Download the Presentation Assessment

Related Scenarios

» Freedom of Expression
» Censorship
» Ethical Journalists

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