Read the following case studies and respond to the questions.
Each case study presents a story about making, using, or sharing creative work. Read each case study and discuss the questions. Review the Ask, Acknowledge, Add Value process listed below. Ask students to consider how the case study might be different if this process were used. The goal of the case studies is for you to reflect on ways you can use other people’s creative work legally, responsibly, and respectfully.
How does the author say I can use the work? Do I have to get the creator’s permission first?
Did I give credit to the work I used?
Did I rework the material to make
new meaning and add something original?
Case Study #1: Emilio’s Amazing Squirrel Photo
When he was at the park, Emilio took an amazing photo of a squirrel hanging with one paw from a tree branch. He uploaded this photo to his Flickr photo-sharing website. He also entered it in the school’s photography contest, and it won first prize! Soon people at school visited his Flickr site to download his funny photo. His friends posted the photo on their profiles, blogs, and webpages. Some people at school printed out the photo and posted it in their lockers. Someone in art class used the photo in a collage. Someone else from another school made T-shirts with the photo and sold them.
- If you were Emilio, how would you feel?
- Do people using Emilio’s photo have a responsibility to ask permission before they use his work? Should they give him credit for his work?
- Is there a difference between a person selling Emilio’s photo, and a person using the photo just because he or she likes it? Is it different when the people using the photo are Emilio’s friends?
- If Emilio was concerned about the copyright of his photo, what could he do?
Case Study #2: Paul the Pirate
Paul spends a lot of time online illegally downloading (pirating) music, movies, and games. He then uploads the files and shares them with friends and even on peer-to-peer sharing websites. “I’m spreading the wealth,” he says. One day his older sister finds out what he is doing and tells him, “It’s illegal, it’s stealing!” Paul says, “I don’t care. Why should I have to pay for something when I can get it for free?
Besides, these artists and the record companies make tons of money.” His sister then asks, “If you made a song or a movie, would you want people to just get it for free, and without giving you credit?”
- Why should Paul care about his behavior?
- How does pirating affect creators?
- What are honest ways Paul could obtain music and movies he wants?
Case Study #3: Marissa’s Music Video
Marissa loves to make videos with her friends and upload them to YouTube. She made a video in which she and her friends dressed up and lip-synched to the latest hit song. In the video, they sang the whole song. A few days later, Marissa saw that the music on the YouTube video had been muted. There was a message saying, “This video contains content from Sony Music Entertainment, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” People could still see the video image but not hear sound. Marissa also saw that some mean comments about her video had been posted, such as “Where is the song? Stupid!!!” and “Smart move.”
- If you were Marissa, how would you feel?
- Why do you think the audio was muted but the video not blocked?”
- If you received mean comments about something you uploaded online as Marissa did, how would you feel?
- How could Marissa rework her video to claim fair use?
Case Study #4: Copy and Paste Cici
Cici has a big report due for social studies class about the history of the Olympics. But she put it off until the last minute. So she goes online and researches the topic. She copies and pastes information from several different websites into her paper. She then changes a few of the words to make it seem like she wrote it. She doesn’t give credit to the websites she used.
- Is Cici’s behavior plagiarism? Why or why not?
- Why might Cici’s teacher’s care?
- Would it make any difference if Cici copied and pasted things from the Internet, or if she lifted it from a book?