The Arts and Copyright - New Publication for Schools

September 2007

Learning about copyright can be fun. The latest publication in WIPO’s popular series for schools shows how.

Aimed at 9 to 14 year-olds, The Arts and Copyright weaves an informative account of the principles of copyright law around a wealth of colorful examples, which demonstrate how copyright and related rights work in practice to protect and encourage creativity.

Using simple terms and illustrations, the workbook brings the concepts underpinning copyright within easy grasp of young students. Nor does it shy away from legal substance: after setting out the different rights protected under international copyright law, readers are shown how to look up the provisions for themselves in the Berne Convention on the WIPO website, and to check whether their country is party to the Convention. A central section of the book explains how copyright limitations and the public domain provide a balance between the rights of creators and the public interest in accessing and using their works. The final chapter explores different forms of copyright infringement, from plagiarism to illegal file sharing, touching also on digital rights management.

Throughout the pages, “Young Author” profiles tell the stories of youngsters who have achieved distinction through their creative works - such as the best-selling author of the Eragon fantasy stories, Christopher Paolini; and ten year old Indian film-maker Kisha Shrikanth.

Teaching copyright in the round

The book encourages young students to view copyright from different perspective by casting the readers in different roles – first as creators, then as users of copyrighted works. Their new-found knowledge is put to the test through games and activities, such as “Clear the Rights,” “Public Domain Detective,” and “Spot the Infringement.” A sample letter is provided to enable the readers themselves to seek permission to use a copyrighted work in, for example, a school project.

The Arts and Copyright builds on the success of the first publication in WIPO’s Learn from the Past, Create the Future series. Inventions and Patents has received enthusiastic feedback from schools around the world, and has been translated into seven languages. Unlike most other curriculum materials currently available on intellectual property, the WIPO workbooks are designed to be entirely self-sufficient. They can be freely copied for classroom use by teachers or for knowledge on the subject; or can be used by individual students without the need for support or access to additional resources.

Today’s school children are tomorrow’s games creators, graphic designers, writers, record producers, publishers. And already they are avid consumers of music, film, books, software, and all that the Internet has to offer. Equipping young people with a sound knowledge and understanding of intellectual property is critical to developing a positive and sustainable IP culture for future generations. For WIPO, this remains a major goal in its public outreach activities.

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The WIPO Magazine is intended to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work, and is not an official document of WIPO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WIPO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of the Member States or the WIPO Secretariat. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WIPO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.