The issue of music theft provides educators with a perfect opportunity to spotlight the intersection of technology, copyright law and civic responsibility. Because so many students are consumers of digital music and movies, educators are uniquely positioned to guide them in a legal and ethical exploration of copyright and intellectual property in the digital age.
Curriculum for Grades 3-8
Music Rules! is a free educational program designed by Young Minds Inspired to help lay the foundation for respecting all forms of intellectual property, especially music recordings. Developed for students in grades 3-8, the educational materials include engaging classroom activities that help to set guidelines for using technology responsibly. Lesson plans for grades 3-5 take an interdisciplinary approach, with classroom activities addressing standards in language arts, mathematics, citizenship, computer technology, and music. Lessons for grades 6-8 take a technology-based approach, with standards-based classroom activities designed to supplement the computer skills curriculum, with projects that involve both desktop software and online research. Teachers can download program materials and brochures that provide background on intellectual property issues and tips for keeping students safe on-line at www.music-rules.com.
Video for University Students
Responding to a growing number of requests from campus officials for orientation materials to help educate college students about intellectual property laws, the RIAA – in consultation with the American Council on Education (ACE) and EDUCAUSE – developed a video to help inform students about the potential consequences of digital music theft and the many legal alternatives available today. The video is available free of charge for use by colleges and universities at www.campusdownloading.com.
Because of the Higher Education Opportunity Act regulations enacted in 2010, all colleges and universities are now required to have a plan in place to address illegal file-sharing on campus networks. Higher ed organization Educause has a good and helpful webpage that lays out the specific requirements for each school, in addition to some “role model” schools that have taken proactive steps to reduce the problem on their campuses.