Youth, Bytes, Copyright

Talking to Young Canadian Creators About Digital Copyright

Authored by: Catherine Burwell

The Routledge Companion to Media Education, Copyright, and Fair Use

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138638891
eBook ISBN: 9781315637549
Adobe ISBN:


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Young people confront, negotiate, and resist copyright laws on a regular basis, yet we know little about their experiences and impressions of copyright. This chapter reports on a qualitative study undertaken to talk to young Canadian creators about digital copyright. Drawing on interviews with twenty-five creators across five provinces, I describe activities such as sharing, copying, and transforming in order to paint a picture of young creators’ encounters with copyright and related concepts of authorship and ownership. I argue that while many young cultural producers have little knowledge of the law, they nonetheless strive to engage in ethical dealings with digital materials and with other cultural producers. By examining the attitudes and beliefs of young producers, it’s clear that copyright education might do well to help learners analyze and reflect upon the kinds of social relationships produced through the use of copyrighted materials.

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