We’re working to instill greater respect for artists and the creative process in our next generation to ensure a future that supports creative individuals. Part of this lesson is teaching young people how to behave ethically when watching, listening, reading, and playing online. As a parent, having these conversations early and often will help us raise a new generation of ethical digital citizens.

  • Explain that creative rights should be respected online just as they are in the real world. Studies have shown that parents and peers are in the best position to deliver this message effectively.
  • Help your child understand the enormous amount of time and effort that goes into making creative works – movies, video games, TV shows, music, or books – and that there are hundreds or even thousands of people working behind the scenes to make it all possible.
  • Talk to your child about all of the jobs behind the scenes that they can pursue. Not everyone can be an actor, director, novelist, or musician, but there are countless creative jobs including sound engineers, electricians, book editors, makeup artists, music producers, accountants, costumers, carpenters, and digital effects designers – just to name a few.
  • Have your kids sign a Family Media Agreement. Children today interact with media at a very early age. It is never too early to talk to them about the difference between right and wrong online – and to set expectations for ethical online behavior. iKeepSafe has a simple agreement that you can find here.
  • Use WhereToWatch.com and teach your child that it is the best resource for finding content online. The website allows you to search for movies and television shows across most major digital platforms – Amazon, Apple, Hulu, etc. ­– as well as any theater listings if the film is still in theaters.
  • Find out if your child’s school teaches the importance of respecting artists’ rights, copyright, and Fair Use in the digital world. If not, introduce them to CreativeFuture and to the resources for training teachers. iKeepSafe, a nationally recognized non-profit that tracks global trends and issues surrounding digitally connected products and their affect on children, has resources for parents and educators that cover all aspects of digital citizenship. Recently, they released a set of lessons for kindergarten through 9th grade that help students understand their rights and responsibilities as 21st century creators and consumers. Lessons for grades 10-12 will be released soon.
  • Talk to other parents. These are important issues and you can help by spreading the word to other parents.

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