ST EK List:
7.3.1N Widespread access to digitized information raises questions about intellectual property.
7.3.1O Creation of digital audio, video, and textual content by combining existing content has been impacted by copyright concerns.


In this lab, you will learn about copyright: its history, what kinds of copying are legal or illegal, how technology has changed copyright issues, and how copyright is enforced with software.

On this page, you will discuss and reflect on your own opinions about copying other people's creative work.

  1. Do a show-of-hands survey of the class:
    • Who has music on their phone or computer that they didn't pay for (or download from a legitimate free distributor)?
    • Who has movies on their phone or computer that they didn't get legally?
    • Who has games on their phone or computer that they didn't get legally?
  2. Now a different kind of question:
    • Who thinks it's okay to steal music?
    • Who thinks it's okay to steal movies?
    • Who thinks it's okay to steal games?
  3. Talk with Another Pair
  4. If your class is like most classes, the first set of questions got very different responses from the second set. Discuss in small groups: Is it "stealing" to download artistic works without permission? Why or why not?
  5. The copyright law makes it illegal for anyone to make copies of a work of art (a book, a painting, a song, etc.) without the permission of the author. There are exceptions, as you'll learn later in this lab.
  6. Discuss in small groups: Suppose anyone were allowed to download any music, movies, etc., they want. How would the artists (musicians, writers, producers, actors, and so on) support themselves?
  7. Write out your opinion on some of these copyright issues. How well does your own behavior match what you think society should do?