The World Intellectual Property Organization has launched another workbook in its series of publications for school children entitled “Learn from the Past, Create the Future”. The latest workbook, “The Arts and Copyright”, offers teachers and students an engaging and informative account of the principles of copyright law and uses a wealth of colorful examples to demonstrate how copyright and related rights work in practice to protect and encourage creativity.
The workbook, which is aimed at 9 to 14 year olds, brings the concepts which underpin copyright within easy grasp of young students and sets out clearly the different rights protected under international copyright law. It also 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 and explores different forms of copyright infringement, from plagiarism to illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.
WIPO Assistant Director General, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, responsible for WIPO’s communications activities said “Today’s school children are tomorrow’s games creators, graphic designers, writers, record producers, and publishers. These children are already 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 key to developing a positive and sustainable IP culture for future generations. For WIPO, this remains a major goal in our public outreach activities.”
The text is peppered with a series of “Young Author” profiles which tell the stories of young people who have achieved distinction through their creative works. These include the best-selling author of the Eragon fantasy stories, Christopher Paolini and the ten year old Indian film-maker, Kisha Shrikanth. Games and activities, such as “Clear the Rights,” “Public Domain Detective,” and “Spot the Infringement”, encourage young students to consider copyright from both the perspective of the creator and the user of copyrighted works. The workbook also includes a sample letter that may be used by readers when seeking permission to use a copyrighted work, in, for example, a school project.
“The Arts and Copyright” is currently available in English and will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. The first workbook in the series, “Inventions and Patents”, has been enthusiastically received by schools around the world, and has been translated into 7 languages. Similar publications on industrial designs and trademarks are also planned.