Whenever someone writes any original work, whether in art, science, education, or technology, the automatically own the copyright to their work. Copyright is therefore a protection provided to original authors of all types of literary works whether published or unpublished. It is protected by law in all constitutions. Copyright prevents work from being stolen, misused, or otherwise published without the owner’s permission. It protects the physical and written expression of creative ideas. Since copyright is a property, it can be transferred ownership often through sale. It is therefore important to differentiate ownership and copyright (Wang Mei-Hung, et al, 6). A good example is that of journal authors who often transfer the copyright to the publishers but their work still remain in their name. However, it is important to acknowledge that unless it is expressed that the ownership of the copyright has been transferred, it remains to be the creators.
How copyright impact learners in the K-12 Library Media Centers
Rapid growth of information sharing has quickly drawn the attention towards copyright laws. Due to the increased worldwide appreciation of the digital field, copyright standards are no longer as traditional as they used to be. This is because information provided digitally can be reformatted or information transferred from one website to another (IFLA 2013). Several actions have been taken to enable libraries progressively reach their clientele in a futuristic manner by introducing the fair use notion. After the introduction of these laws, K-12 Media Centers were created to provide a generalized format of digital library access in schools.
The K-12 Media Centers are library programs introduced to learning institutions all over the country in order to provide digital access to intellectual information (Mahaffy 174). It has assisted libraries give students access to physical and digital materials and provided instructions and know-how for using information and fostering ideas. It has also motivated them to work with other knowledgeable personnel in an effort to improve their knowledge in mandatory subjects and even informal reading. The libraries have made efforts to provide internet access in the school thus enabling students access the K-12 Media Centers. Information is being provided digitally in the recent years and the K-12 Media Centers have acknowledged this development.
The centers have been known to motivate students to seek more knowledge on scholarly information. In addition, with the heightened internet activity, the centers benefit today’s students who identify with technology and gadgets. Since the assignments are digitally researchable, many students easily involve themselves with schoolwork whereas they would have avoided school work all together if the information being researched was in hard cover books. In testimony of this, schools that have more functioning and easily accessible K-12 Media Centers have their student’s performing better in the class (McDermott 11). This may be due to the increased interaction with the teaching staff when using the libraries or increased research.
Things that can be done in the Library media Center to help prevent copyright infringement
Librarians have forever been entrusted to protect the copyrights of material authors. This has been quite easy in the past since they only had to ensure that people did not photograph nor reproduce the books (McBride 370). IFLA (2013) argues that due to the kind of relaxed library copyright laws and ‘fair use’, sometimes users tend to abuse owners copyright. In the past, attendants could single handedly detect library users who tried to violate the copyright. However, technology today has made management quite complicated leading to new ways to prevent copyright infringement.
One of the most advisable and practical measure today taken by libraries is to ensure strict access to the material that is intended for a specific user group. In most cases, students are given password access by their teaching staff and librarians. However, if the library website that they have stored the material in goes unchecked, some may take advantage of the situation and hack into it accessing the material illegally. Schools and libraries are therefore advised to invest in hard to crack firewalls so as to discourage hackers. Also, they are advised to continuously check for suspicious visit to the website.
Finally, libraries should invest in print detecting software. In place of the print detecting software, they could manipulate the website so that material could not be downloaded nor printed. This will go a long way in protecting the copyright property rights.
Importance for students in the K-12 Library Media Centers to understand basic copyright laws
In some K-12 Library Media Centers, students are educated on basic copyright laws. However, most libraries neglect to mention the copyright laws and the consequences of violating them (Wang Mei-Hung, et al, 201). It is recommended that before students are given access to the material online, the library should first educate the students on the copyright laws. This is important since it fosters work respect ethics in the young minds. Once the students are educated that the work provided belongs to someone else, it insinuates that using the material in any other way would be theft. This way, they learn to respect other peoples work as well as impact ethics that will make them more socially acceptable members of the society.
On the other hand, violating the copyright laws involves criminal activity which is answerable in a court of law. Therefore informing students on the copyright laws equips them with methods of avoiding criminal activity whether knowingly or not. Finally, if the books are used in respect with the copyright laws, they will continuously remain accessible to the students. This is because once the copyright laws have been violated and detected; it is most probably that the book be withdrawn by the user from the website. This will affect all the students that would have benefited from using the said book maybe even resulting to poor grades.
IFLA. The IFLA Position on Copyright in the Digital Environment (2000). 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.ifla.org/publications/the-ifla-position-on-copyright-in-the-digital-environment-2000
McBride, Jerry L. "Copying By Libraries In The United States: Reviewing Section 108 Of The Us Copyright Laws." Fontes Artis Musicae 55.2 (2008): 363-376. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.
McDermott, Abigail J. "Copyright: Regulation Out Of Line With Our Digital Reality?." Information Technology & Libraries 31.1 (2012): 7-20. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.
Wang Mei-Hung, et al. "College Students' Misunderstandings About Copyright Laws For Digital Library Resources." Electronic Library 28.2 (2010): 197-209. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.
Suqing, Liu, Liao Sansan, and Guo Jing. "Surviving In The Digital Age By Utilizing Libraries' Distinctive Advantages." Electronic Library 27.2 (2009): 298-307. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 6 Apr. 2013
Mahaffy, Mardi. "Exploring Common Ground: US Writing Center/Library Collaboration." New Library World 109.3/4 (2008): 173-181. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Web. 6 Apr. 2013.