Here’s a question for you. If you run a website which involves becoming a member in order to use it, is it OK to ask children to sign up? If you don’t know the answer to this, it may be a good idea to head over to Own-It, and check out the facts for yourself.
Own-It is a website that is dedicated to providing free advice on Intellectual Property (IP) and related issues, for people in the creative industries. If you’re a blogger, that includes you, but even if you’re not, you still need to know about copyright issues in order to guide your students (or at least to not mislead them).
Becoming a member entitles you to obtain free legal advice on IP issues (subject to certain conditions). So if someone tries to rip you off by claiming your property as their own, Own-It could be quite useful. Equally, if you’re employed and also produce resources, your employer may own the copyright rather than you (a fact I mentioned a few months ago in the article 11 Essential Elements of a Digital Financial Literacy Course). Again, guidance available on Own-It will set you on the right track.
Having spent a few minutes completing the free registration form on the site, I discovered to my embarrassment that I had already signed up a few years ago, but had forgotten! Having been reminded, I will certainly be visiting the site on a regular basis, especially as I see that one of the legal advisers is a solicitor called Nicola Solomon, who also provides excellent advice to members of the UK’s Society of Authors. I mention that because there is always a slight anxiety that advice given on the internet may not always be accurate, so seeing a name I recognise gives me even more confidence in the site.
I have a couple of quibbles about the site. I can live with the minute font because you can enlarge it in the web browser. But light green link text? Puhlease!
Also, although being able to download and use the videos provided is great, it’s a shame there aren’t instructions on how to embed them in your own website (as far as I can tell). Actually, it's a pity there aren't some embedded videos right there on the site.
On the whole, though, this is a well-resourced site on which it is pretty easy to find what you’re looking for. If you’re a teacher in the UK, you should add it to your list of bookmarked sites right now.