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Explaining copyright

Age 11-16 To teach children about copyright protection, I blow up a balloon to represent an idea I've had. I tell the class if anyone else has an idea, to blow up a balloon. I then make one pupil take a balloon off another and I agree to buy this "idea" off them. The pupils can see some sort of theft has occurred and that this shouldn't be allowed. The class should now be open to the concept of protecting intellectual property and ready to find out various ways that people can protect their ideas. I use the idea of writing a book and then wanting to sell it as my first example of copyright.

Having understood the idea of copyright we can now move on and talk about what are the penalties for breaking copyright. Towards the end of the lesson, I hit them with a few scare stories from the newspapers for maximum effect. Oh, and don't forget to take the balloons back Eliot Williams teaches at Millfield school in Street, Somerset

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