Copyright: How to make use of it Created by: Maria D. Martinez
How/When did copyright begin? First copyright statute in the world was created in 1710 by Great Britain. Congress continued this statute by enacting the first copyright law in America in 1790. The use of technology (internet) has incorporated changes in the copyright law. Titles such as“fair use” and “express and implied license” have taken a toll in the copyright world.
What is copyright? Copyright by definition according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something. In simpler terms: You are the original owner of a specific work. No one may use it for their advantage, specially when some kind of profit is involved. You may grant permission for the use under your conditions.
Different kinds of copyrights Implied license: mainly used on web material. It is implied that anything you post on the web, others will view and will add, delete, copy, or even replicate for their own use and advantage. Express license: spell out in detail word by word the rights the author of the works wants or expects. It is written out in simple concrete words that you may use it for the purpose to built upon it or make it better by sharing it back, always giving recognition to the author of the work.
What do copyright laws offer? It offers to maintain a balance between what is being produced and who uses it and how. It sets limitations as to how many times something is being copyrighted. It allows special exemptions which are those that include educators, librarians, public broadcasters, and the blind, amongst others. It protects freedom of speech. It gives room for fair use to be in full motion.
What about fair use? Fair use is the right to quote copyrighted material without any consent from the owner or even paying for it. Fair use is also the section from the copyright law in which the owner’s works are protected from creators who want to incorporate other people’s copyrighted material into their own work. Fair use allows the public to use other’s works by attaching a Creative Common license to them or making them educational uses, which is the best and much easier way to be worry free of infringement.
When do I know if it is fair use? Ask yourself 2 questions: Was what I took used for a different purpose? And was the amount and purpose of the material taken reasonable? Also, there are four factors one wants to consider when in doubt: 1. What is the intention of the use for the piece of work? 2. What is the origin of the piece of work? 3. How much of the work will be used? 4. If this kind of use were to widespread, what effect would it have on the owner and on me?
Continuation… If you had the following answers to the previous four fair use factors, then you are on the safe zone. 1. The piece of work is being used for nonprofit, educational, personal, commentary and even news reporting. 2. The origin of the work is a fact piece of material or it has been officially published. 3. Only a small amount of the piece of work will be used. 4. I’ll be okay if the piece of work goes widespread because the original print is outdated or unavailable, the copyright owner is unidentifiable, or the piece of work is has an implied license or educational use. When in doubt visit the CCC (Copyright Clearance Center).
Just to be on the safe side… Because the law has changed as of March 1, 1989 and it no longer requires works to have a copyright notice attached to it… Make yourself familiar with the copyrights law: Any worked published on or before Dec. 31 1922 is now on the public domain. (public domain = creative work that is not protected by copyright and which may freely be used by anyone for reasons like copyright of work expired, author failed to satisfy statutory formalities or the work is of the U.S. government) Works between January 1, 1923 to December 31, 1978 are protected for a term of 95 years from the date of publication with proper notice. Works between 1923 to Dec of 1963 needed to be renewed by its owner for the next 28 years. Owners might not have renewed so these works might be in the public domain.
Just to be on the safe side… Make yourself familiar with the copyrights law: Works with the year after 1978 have a copyright notice (meaning works are protected) that runs for 70 years from the date the author dies (this is called “life of the author” plus 70 years). Works are protected whether they are published or not. Works created before December of 1978 that were not published are now protected by the author plus 70 years protection.
Different rules of copyright for educators, students and institutes. Copyright law provides educators with a separate set of rights for the purpose of use in the classroom. Section 110 (1) of the copyright law allows educators (face-to-face) to be able to have more use on the pieces of works. For those that educate through via web (digital distance education) the Teach Act was created (section 110(2) of the copyright law). Although there is a big gap between educators who fall in the section 110(1) and those who fall under section 110(2) fair use is an addition resource to both, in which digital distance educators prefer to go about than the Teach Act because of its gaps.
Different rules of copyright for educators, students and institutes. Students, faculty and staff may: Incorporate others’ works into their original creations. Display and perform the resulting work in connection with or creation of: class assignments curriculum materials remote instruction examinations student portfolios professional symposia Always taking into consideration to be conservative with the amounts of works from other being used, limiting copies and distributions and limiting research copies to single chapters, articles, graphs, charts or illustrations.
Types of infringements What is an infringement? When you know that you are doing wrong by using a type of work and you still do it anyway. Penalties for infringement can add up to $150,000 for each separate act or infringement. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but the penalty will not be as high as willingly wrongdoing. There is only one way to not be found guilty of infringement and that is called the good faith fair use defense, which only applies if person who copied material reasonably believed that what he/she did was a fair use, which would be the case if you follow the copyright policy
Works Cited Georgia K. Harper. (2001, 2007). The Copyright Crash Course. In University of Texas Libraries. Retrieved September 3, 2011, from http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/.