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Copyright Issues


What can be used from sources?  What can be photocopied?  What can be duplicated?
When is it acceptable to copy a CD or download an image from the Internet? 

What is and isn’t copyright protected?  In a nutshell:  the answer is that nearly every original, tangible expression is copyrighted immediately upon creation.  An author does not have to register the work, announce that the work is copyright protected, or display the copyright symbol to enjoy copyright protection.  All he or she must do is create an original work in tangible form.

Some examples:
Duplication:  the creation of anthologies or compilations, copying from "consumables" like workbooks, and copying to substitute for purchase are prohibited.

Software:  if a computer program is licensed, refer to the license agreement: limitations on exclusive rights can be overridden by contract!  By installing or using a licensed software product, you are legally bound by its agreement.  This stresses the need to review the terms and conditions of license agreements, especially clauses relating to permitted uses, prohibited uses, restrictions, and copying limitations.

Electronic Databases:  generally, the information made available to researchers from commercial online and CD-based electronic databases is copyrighted.  Unless indicated otherwise, treat databases as you would any copyrighted materials used for private study, scholarship, or research.  Reading of the terms and conditions of a database, often found in the help menu, can aid in clarifying permitted uses.

The Internet:  educators and students are advised to exercise caution in using digital material downloaded from the Internet in producing their own educational multimedia projects, because there is a mix of works protected by copyright and works in the public domain on the network.  Access to works on the Internet does not automatically mean that these can be reproduced and reused without permission or royalty payment and, furthermore, some copyrighted works may have been posted to the Internet without authorization of the copyright holder.

Explore the links to web sites below for more information on fair use in education.