IP awareness trust of Australia launches copyright campaign for schools

Mumbai: Award-winning Australian television stars Natalie Blair and Sam Clark have joined forces with the Intellectual Property Awareness Trust to launch a copyright campaign designed for more than one million Australian high school students. The event was held at Sydney’s Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design.

Blair and Clark, stars of the series Neighbours, returned to the classroom to launch a copyright education campaign designed for all Australian high-school students.

The comprehensive secondary schools education resource, called Nothing Beats the Real Thing! aims to help students understand and respect film and television copyright.

The resource is an educational module that includes quizzes, interactive games, and activities designed for students across all curriculum areas. It is an initiative of the trust, produced by the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) and Ryebuck Media and endorsed by the education departments.

Blair and Clark agreed to be involved in the educational campaign because they are passionate about protecting the future of their industry.

"This initiative with Australian school children has the potential to turn the tide in favour of respect for film and television copyright," said Blair. "More widely, it aims to increase the value attached to the creative contribution necessary to produce the television shows and screen stories we all love so much."

Clark added, "Most people want to do the right thing, so if this resource helps teenagers understand what can happen if they do the wrong thing I believe it will change behaviour."

The IP Awareness Trust supports the 50,000 Australians employed in the film and television industry and acts on behalf of film distributors, cinemas and local retail and rental DVD stores.

"Our research showed 13 -17 year olds are most likely to change their attitudes if they are made aware of the need to protect individual copyright and respect individual creativity," said IP Awareness Trust spokesperson and communications director Narelle Riley.

"We want school students to understand the creative process of making a film or television show is one that is shared by hundreds of people, each of whom brings a unique skill and passion to the project. Subsequently, it is these people who are most at risk when piracy rips into our industry", she added.

The resource is being sent to more than 3,000 secondary schools across Australia and its impact and effectiveness will be closely monitored. Initial testing of the resource had been positive.

Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design teacher Chris Woods said, "I found that my students responded passionately to this copyright program, and it served as a catalyst for some important discussions on the value of an individual’s creative output. In today’s digital environment, the program is relevant and timely."

"This Australian initiative shows the way we have to travel to take copyright education to kids. If you can instill respect for an individual’s creative output at that stage, we won’t have to preach to the converted when they’re older", said Asia-Pacific for the Motion Picture Association president and managing director Mike Ellis.

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