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piracy and copyright

Learning Intentions

  • Understand the legality surrounding the use of computer systems

Success Criteria

  • I can explain copyright law and piracy
  • I can explain how copyright law affects me

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the unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work


Why copyright is so important

Pretend you develop software for a computer. You sell the software for £500 a license.


What would you feel like if you knew that someone had managed to get your software and are distributing it for free on the Internet? 


Discuss this with the person next you.

Copyright and piracy

Copyright: This means that a design or creation belongs to the person (or group) who created it. It allows the owner to protect against others copying or reproducing their work.

Piracy: The illegal copying, sharing or use of somebody else's work online, e.g. streaming or downloading films illegally.

Copyright software

  • Computer software obtained that should be paid for but was obtained for free is an example of piracy.
  • Online ROMs (such as those made for old games) are also illegal as they are obtained free copies of existing copyright material and therefore is an example of piracy. 

Copyright graphics

  • Images and photographs obtained on the internet may, and more likely are, subject to copyright.
  • This means that without the permission of the original creator, using this image will be breaking the law.
  • A Google Image Search may also return several images that are subject to copyright, so be careful using this tool.

Copyright text

  • Even text is subject to copyright and anything you copy from the Internet or a book needs to be checked for copyright first.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to quote the text before using it, but attribution must also be made to the original author.

What are the risks?

  • There are huge risks associated with copyright, even when you are at school (for example, a person submitted some coursework which contained plagerised content and failed the course)
  • Always check any sources to ensure they aren't copyrighted before using them.

Okay or not okay?

  • Imagine these three people are your friends. What do you think about each person’s actions? Discuss your answers with the person next to you and explain why it is legal or illegal.

Scott has started making money by selling software to his friends which allows them free access to an unlimited source of the latest films, TV shows and live-streamed sports matches.

Eliza downloads films from the internet without paying, but she doesn’t sell them on. She sends the link round her friends, so they can all watch the latest films.

Kwasi never downloads content illegally from the internet but has been sent a link to Eliza’s file sharing site. He’s considering using it.

Legitimate sources of media

  • There are legitimate sources of material and there are also sources of media that do not include copyright at all.
  • Take a look at the following websites for free to use materials:

Create a page on your website under the Digital Literacy heading called Piracy and Copyright.


  • Add how you can avoid getting in to trouble with copyright
  • What piracy is and what can be considered as piracy
  • What advice you would give other people about avoiding copyright issues
  • Find a copyright-free image and put it on your website
  • Find a copyright-free audio or video file and put it on your website


Lesson review

I can explain what copyright and piracy are

I can explain what copyright and piracy are and what it affects

I can explain what copyright are, what it affects and how to ensure that I do not commit piracy

Presentation Overview
Piracy and Copyright
© 2020 - 2024 J Balfour
19:28 | 23-05-2024
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