Contemporary Media Regulation: A Case Study in Copyright Law


Authors: Hayleigh Bosher and Dinusha Mendis
Illustration: Davide Bonazzi


Contemporary Media Regulation: A Case Study in Copyright Law is an educational web resource which addresses Critical Perspectives in Media, Section B: Contemporary Media Issues.

A Level students who choose Contemporary Media Regulation are free to study any media texts, theories, case studies, debates and issues, providing they relate to four prompts listed in the Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examination Board (OCR) Unit Specification (p. 39). For purposes of this copyright education resource, the four prompts have been adapted to the copyright context. Each prompt contains original illustrations and explanatory texts:


Prompt One

What is the nature of contemporary copyright regulation compared with previous practices?

Prompt Two

What are the arguments for and against contemporary copyright regulation?

Prompt Four

What are the wider social issues relating to copyright regulation?

The content is shaped to enable teachers to explain the complexity and importance of copyright in media, and for the students to research copyright regulation and demonstrate their understanding within the Contemporary Media Regulation exam question.

This educational resource provides teachers with simple and straightforward information about copyright. The focus is to bring together different perspectives on copyright issues. There is a consideration of the historical, contemporary and future copyright issues, with an emphasis on present.

This resource and are based in the UK and therefore the content here reflects what is permitted under UK copyright legislation.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION – Including Strategies for Case Studies, Information for Teachers, Useful Links, and Definitions


PDF VERSIONContemporary Media Regulation: A Case Study in Copyright Law



To meet the above-mentioned goal and in order to accurately gather and offer the different perspectives on copyright regulation, a short questionnaire, inspired by the four prompt questions within Critical Perspectives in Media, was sent to a broad range of copyright stakeholders. The goal of the questionnaire was to gather as many perspectives on copyright law as possible, in order to present a balanced view.

The responses generated provided an interesting landscape of the various perspectives on copyright, including the views of individual creators; rightsholders; EU and UK regulators; collecting societies; Internet service providers and users’ representatives, amongst others.

Using qualitative techniques, the responses to the questionnaire were coded into the most common copyright issues. The researchers identified 18 common issues from the coding process. These included (1) originality, (2) new business models, (3) perceptions, (4) technology and (5) education, amongst others. This allowed the researchers to systematically categorise the responses to illustrate the different stakeholder perspectives on the most current and pressing issues surrounding copyright regulation and media. This approach also enabled the researchers to capture various copyright issues through practical examples thereby providing teachers and students with robust, raw material with which to debate contemporary media issues.

The educational information is presented in a user-friendly and strategic format consistent with the OCR A Level structure. However, the resource does not restrict teachers to a specific lesson plan or classroom structure and therefore enables flexibility in teaching style, student interaction and learning environments.

The resource aims to present a balanced view. To achieve this aim and to present the different copyright perspectives in a digestible and coherent manner, the researchers have identified the responses by the stakeholder position. However, for the purposes of transparency all stakeholders who contributed to this resource are named under the ‘Credits’ section.

The methodology used by the researchers to create the educational resource was approved by the OCR at their Annual AS/A Level OCR Media Studies Conference, which took place in London on 21 March 2014.






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