Intellectual Property and
Creative Content Defined
Unit 1: “Creative What?”
This unit explores the general topics of intellectual property, creative content, and creative rights. Using the backdrop of a high school band competition, the unit will help students define intellectual property and creative content by relating it to a common scenario they might encounter. Students will begin to recognize and internalize the importance of respecting creative rights and will conduct their own research to help clear up misconceptions about the rights that apply to them and their peers.
The unit is centered on a case study involving a Battle of the Bands. In this scenario, a high school student council is sponsoring a school-wide Battle of the Bands. A student not involved in the production decides to videotape and sell copies of the performance to students and family members. When the performers learn about the tapes, they are understandably upset.
Included in the unit are five activities, each designed with different learning objectives ranging from identifying common misconceptions about intellectual property to understanding the importance of copyright laws related to creative content. Each activity contains instructions detailing the amount of time required, materials needed, learning objectives, related subject areas, and background information. Detailed steps and suggestions are provided for each. Extensions and modifications as well as additional resources are also provided.
Each activity requires two to four 60-minute class periods, and some may also require time outside of class for students to work. The individual activities build to a culminating activity that incorporates everything the students have learned throughout the unit. They are asked to apply it to a personal situation, making it relevant to their everyday life.
The activities are designed to complement one another. While a student can have a meaningful learning experience participating in any single activity, the coursework is designed for optimal benefit if all activities are utilized.
The unit provides a baseline assessment (typically consisting of one or two questions in essay format) for educators to use to gauge students’ prior knowledge and perceptions of intellectual property and creative content. This is supplemented with a post-unit assessment to measure changes in knowledge and perception.
Student Learning Objectives
Associate intellectual property with various legal rights to protect creative content.
Utilize research techniques to determine public awareness of, and misconceptions about, intellectual property; effectively present their evaluation of data; and identify and share complexities and consequences related to violating creative rights.
Understand the importance of copyright laws and fair use exceptions of media reproduction, modification, distribution, public performance, and public display; determine effective steps to take when they discover unauthorized use of intellectual property; and recognize the importance of developing safeguards that will help them avoid copyright law violations.
Differentiate between commercial media products that are in the public domain and those that are protected under copyright laws; recognize and follow the protocols for obtaining the rights to use copyrighted material; and determine how best to develop a multiedia presentation within the parameters of copyright laws, as well as available time and equipment.
Use various information sources to determine how issues of intellectual property such as creative content are locally relevant; and answer personal questions, solve local problems, and impact local issues of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property.
Over the course of the unit, students are asked to explore key questions related to intellectual property: What is intellectual property and creative content? Why are creative rights important? Are all citizens protected equally by copyright law?