Appendix 3 Anchor Task Roles

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Appendix 3: Anchor Task Roles


Student Groups for Copyright Hearing:


The Hearing

Federal Hearing Called Regarding Copyright Law. All are invited!

The government of the United States is holding a hearing reviewing current copyright law. They want to hear from any group that would like to present its views as to how copyright law can be changed. Whether you agree with copyright law and want penalties for copyright infringement increased, or would like to abolish copyright law altogether, the panel would like to hear your opinion.

Students should look at the questions for all the groups, to anticipate what others arguments might be.


Group 1: Werner Bros Music

You are a panel of lawyers representing Werner Bros Music, a record label with established artists who have been successful at creating profit for many years. You are at the hearing to testify on the importance of copyright law to your business. You believe current copyright law should be strengthened and enforced with penalties for those who violate copyright law. Due to illegal downloading, you have seen substantial profit loss since the inception of file sharing services.

Questions to think about in preparing for the hearing: Why does copyright exist? How much revenue has company the lost due to illegal downloading? How do you generate most of your profit? Who should control the rights to artists' work? Who is protecting the artists work? How are many jobs created by the recording industry?


Group 2: Artists and Musicians

You are a group of artists who are trying to make a living selling your records and performing live. Some of you in the group had a big hit a few years ago, and have been living off the royalties from that song for some time, but now those checks are much smaller than they used to be. The rest of you are new artists, some with record deals and some recording as independent artists.

Questions to think about in preparing for the hearing: Why does copyright exist? What are the copyright laws surrounding the usage of samples? Are they fair? How do you generate income from your music? How should artists' work be protected from being stolen? Does it matter? Are all artists and musicians compensated equally? Who is looking out for the interests of new artists?


Group 3: Creative Commons

You are a group of lawyers representing Creative Commons, and you would like to encourage the panel to lessen copyright restrictions. You would like to promote your new version of copyright, which you to believe to be more equitable to the creator of the music and for the consumer. You are a supporter of artists’ and consumers’ rights.

Questions to think about in preparing for the hearing: Why does copyright exist? What is Creative Commons? Are there similar organizations? Who are the supporters of Creative Commons? Should artists be paid for their work? How did Creative Commons come about? What kinds of media are available that use Creative Commons licenses? Why is Creative Commons a good solution to copyright issues?


Group 4: Downloading Family

You are a family whose house was raided by the FBI. You have been accused by the RIAA of illegally downloading over 800 songs from the Internet. One computer in the house did have approximately 600 illegally downloaded songs on it and also copyrighted movies that had been downloaded from the Internet. Another computer had legally downloaded content, including presentations by college professors on how to do emergency pet surgery, how to save money on utility bills, and free tips on effective study habits. You have been fined $40,000 and have had your computers confiscated.

Questions to think about in preparing for the hearing: Why does copyright exist? Was the raid on your house an appropriate use of government funds? What is the difference between media available for download? Is copyright law clear? Is your penalty ($40,000) fair? How should copyright law be enforced? Who does copyright law benefit?


Group 5: The Panel Members

You are the panel to which the other groups will present. You must familiarize yourself with copyright law, in order to ask questions of the presenters. After hearing all of the presentations, and asking questions, you will be required to craft a recommendation to the President, on how his administration should deal with the shifting nature of copyright law. On the day of the hearing, you will be required to keep everyone on schedule, and give each time to answer questions you have prepared for them. Also, you must begin the hearing with an introductory statement, summarizing the debate around copyright.


Questions to think about in preparing for the hearing: Why does copyright exist? What is the history of copyright? How did illegal file sharing start?

What are the ways that people are illegal downloading media now? Did the presenters support their arguments with examples? Who are the stakeholders in the copyright battle? Who should be making a profit from artists' work?