In searching through the resources provided on copyright laws, I found this link to be the most helpful:
Not only does it link to further places to learn about aspects of copyright, but it also presents the information in a way that is manageable and easy to understand. The most helpful aspect of this article was its breakdown of the six different types of Creative Commons licenses. It also provides a link to source that contains the symbols for each of these types so that they are easily identifiable to those looking to use the work. I think that although Creative Commons licensing is complex, it is the best way for artists to share their work in a way that they are comfortable with because they do not have to adhere to one size fits all restrictions in order to copyright their materials. However, this places a lot more responsibility on the consumers and users of these materials to get educated on copyright laws before starting their work. Given the number of resources provided by this page alone, I would say it’s fairly easy to understand copyright regulations in their most basic sense. When it comes to commercial use, the laws become infinitely more complex. However, for us as educators, we are capable of and should be learning to discern copyright restrictions when it comes to using media in the classroom.
As a side note, one of the most helpful tools provided from the site is this creative commons mixer which allows users to mix, cut and share music that’s licensing makes it available to do so:
As I was interested in learning more about the Creative Commons, I decided to watch the following video:
It gives a brief history of copyright, explaining how originally authors had to apply for copyright restrictions on their work. Legislation in the late 1980’s changed this, so that any work is automatically copyrighted by virtue of its creation. This made it difficult for artists to give the go ahead if they wanted to allow the sharing of their work in certain contexts. Creative commons serves as a way of providing the opportunity to reserve some of their rights to the material, while turning over others to the public. The video gave a clear and succinct presentation of these differences in layman’s terms. I would use present this video in my own classroom to help students understand copyright laws better. I think that using works that are licensed with creative commons is the easiest way to avoid legal issues when using other artist’s materials, as their consent is implied directly as long as restrictions are followed. Copyrighted materials maintain all rights, and therefore permission for use is required from the creator. Creative commons gives artists and users a middle ground to work with. I hope to learn more about copyright laws moving forward so that I may use materials responsibly in the classroom.