Home' Teacher : April 2011 Contents 50 TEACHER APRIL 2011
This also opens individual computers up
to privacy risks. Lots of private and confi-
dential documents have been found through
P2P networks. Some P2P networks come
with extra software or 'spyware' which may
report users to external websites or can for
example, record passwords and send them
to scammers. P2P networks provide oppor-
tunities for identity thieves to obtain finan-
cial and personal information from users
who in most cases have no idea that their
data is v ulnerable.
What about cyber-ethics issues?
Commonly, young people use P2P networks
to share music, films, games and even soft-
ware. When this is done without the per-
mission of the relevant creators -- the artists
and songwriters who create the music for
example -- then it is against the law.
Illegal file-sharing of close to one billion
songs by Australians every year significantly
undermines the ability of Australian musi-
cians to make a living from their music. Fol-
lowing his ARIA award nominations in 2007,
musician John Butler said, 'We sell about 40
per cent less albums than we did three or four
years ago because of [illegal] dow nloading.'
Similarly, Zoran Trivic of Perth band
Gyroscope recently said, '[Illegal download-
ing] has brought a lot of new fans to our
music, but at the same time it's hard. Being
a musician is a full time profession so selling
records is how I make a living.'
The music industry is a highly specula-
tive one. The 2010 IFPI Investing in Music
report shows that record labels invest around
30 per cent of their revenues into finding,
nurturing and promoting new talent, the
majority of which do not even break even.
Unfortunately illegal file-sharing also con-
tinues to threaten the emergence and growth
of new business models to allow consumers
to access more Australian music.
In the real world, most people would not
steal a CD from a record store. The chal-
lenge for educators is to encourage students
to apply this same moral compass in the
cyber-world, where the effects of copyright
theft are just as devastating. Like any other
product that takes creativity, time, energy
and money to make, music, film and games
should be valued and their creators compen-
sated for their efforts. Education is the key
to explaining the negative effects of illegal
file-sharing and changing attitudes so that
our com munity appreciates that you need to
behave as responsibly online as you would
offline, not only for music but for a wide
range of activities.
As University of Western Sydney academic
Helen Young argues, 'It's up to everyone who
is part of the online world to enjoy their rights
but also shoulder their responsibilities.'
What role can teachers and schools
Teachers and schools are in a unique posi-
tion to inform students about the dangers
of illegal P2P networks and the associated
need to respect creativity.
Increasingly schools are covering the eth-
ical and safety issues of using the internet;
you can expand this discussion to include
the safety issues around using P2P services,
including the security and privacy concerns
and the availability of harmful content.
In class when rolling out new innovative
devices like laptop computers and iPads,
discuss with your students how they access
their music online so you have an under-
standing of what they are doing.
Encourage students to think about how
they listen to music, and what music means
to them. Ask them to browse legal online
stores and legal music streaming services.
Get them to think about why respecting
copyright is like respecting rules on plagia-
rism. What's the difference between a stu-
dent who's had their brilliant essay copied
and an artist whose songs are being illegally
copied? It is guaranteed to be a thought-
Suggest they research the music industry
and think about the work that goes into pro-
ducing a record, and what jobs are involved.
Consider using some of the excellent
teaching resources around illegal file-sharing:
Music for Free? is an English unit for
16-18 year olds which explores the eth-
ics of illegal file-sharing and encourages
students to respect music by getting it
legitimately, available from ww w.smart-
In Tu n e is a free open education resource
for schools. This short film canvasses
some of the issues facing Australian
musicians today, including the positive
and negative impact that the internet
has had on musicians. Featuring inter-
views with prominent Australian artists
including Silverchair, Powderfinger, the
Veronicas and Operator Please, this is a
popular resource in the classroom. It is
available from w ww.in-tune.com.au
Young People, Music and the Internet is
an informative guide for teachers, par-
ents and young people to explain the do's
and don'ts of music downloading, avail-
able from w w w.mipi.com.au/ Young-
All Right to Copy? is a resource designed
to teach students about copyright and how
it impacts them both as users and creators,
available from w w w.smartcopying.edu.
Many uses of copyrighted music in the
classroom for teaching purposes are allowed
by exceptions in the law that apply to edu-
cational institutions. To ensure that you are
complying with the law you can check the
Music Industry Piracy Investigations fact
sheet for teachers and schools at w ww.mipi.
Music Industry Piracy Investigations,
the Australian music industry's anti-piracy
organisation, is happy to work with teachers
and schools to help educate students on the
important security and ethical issues around
P2P networks and the illegal file-sharing.
Sabiene Heindl is the General Manager of
Music Industry Piracy Investigations.
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