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Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College student wins CLA’s copyright essay prize

Madison Eaton, a student from Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, has been awarded first place in CLA’s first ever Copyright Essay Prize, winning the top prize of £300. 

With the support of Hodder Education

Madison’s response to the question ‘Social media is a disaster for intellectual property – Discuss’ impressed the final judging panel with its clarity, coherency and balance.  The judges noted the wide variety of research, and how the essay thoroughly engaged with the question by exploring themes of regulation, revenue and responsibility.  The judges were also drawn to the essay conclusion, which addressed how change can best be affected to better protect both creators and users of intellectual property.  You can read Madison’s full essay here.

Madison, on hearing the news of the win, was delighted at the chance to take part in the competition:

To even be considered for the shortlist, let alone first place, is a huge honour for me. Writing this essay is actually one of the reasons I want to go into forensic linguistics when I’m older; using my knowledge of language and media to help people consider the impact of laws on others, including the subject of copyright law, is really important to me and I am immensely grateful that the judges saw this reflected in my work.


Naomi Baxter, Madison’s Media Studies teacher, reflects positively on what the competition gave students.

I think the competition was an excellent way for our students to engage with academic research and a full written response outside of usual lesson time – these opportunities are very limited within this subject field and I believe it’s vital for young people to become familiar with organisations, such as the CLA, for their future progression. 


Madison is joined on the podium by Lewis Westwood Flood and Milly Lambert, both of Uckfield College, who were awarded second and third place respectively.  The judges felt that all three essays were fluently expressed and well-constructed, showing a high level of engagement with a complex question.

The winning essays were chosen from a shortlist of eight entries, and as previously reported, CLA is incredibly impressed with the effort shown by all the students who entered the competition even while the COVID pandemic posed such difficulties.  Intellectual Property isn’t something that regularly appears on students’ radar, and so for students to explore this relatively unknown territory – as the judges commented – was all the more striking.

CLA’s Copyright Essay Prize will return next year, inviting another cohort of 16+ students to share their thoughts on themes of intellectual property and copyright.