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Whirlwind Tour of Copyright


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Introduction to copyright for Empire State College faculty and staff. Includes Fair Use, Public Domain, Educational Use, TEACH Act, Licensing, DMCA, etc.

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Whirlwind Tour of Copyright

  1. 1. Library webinar for faculty and staff Sarah Morehouse
  2. 2.  The librarians can direct you to copyright information resources, such as where to look up the copyright owner of a certain work or how to determine if something is fair use or public domain.  We can’t get permission/licenses for you  Above all, we can’t give legal advice!
  3. 3.  A fact or idea can’t be copyrighted  What can be copyrighted is the unique expression of facts and ideas  some element of creativity, analysis, interpretation, organization from the author
  4. 4.  The work doesn’t need to be published or registered anywhere  It’s copyrighted as soon as it’s “fixed in a tangible medium of expression”  On paper, film/tape, in stone  In any digital format, including email and blogs  Sculpted into ice? Written on a chalkboard?  What matters is that there’s a means of transmitting the information from one person to another across time and space
  5. 5.  The right to make copies  The right to distribute copies  for profit or not  The right to make derivative works and make copies of them and distribute them  The right to assign the copyright to someone else  A license  A transfer
  6. 6.  Sequels, spinoffs, supplemental materials, translations, adaptations, revisions, conversions to a new format
  7. 7.  If a work is in the public domain, copyright no longer applies to it.  You don’t need to ask permission to copy/remix it  You don’t need to pay royalties
  8. 8.  Most works fall into the public domain because they have reached a certain age  Authored works: add 70 years to the author’s death date  Anonymous and corporate works: add 95 years to publication date  Unpublished anonymous/corporate works: add 120 years to creation date  Used to be shorter  Different for non-US publications  Publications of the federal government are put immediately into the public domain
  9. 9.  Use this tool to find out whether a certain work is still under copyright:
  10. 10.  Fair Use exists to promote kinds of use that the law considers beneficial to society.  Using Fair Use is good!  Fair Use is a legal defense. It basically means “The infringement met the criteria, so there’s no penalty.”  Those criteria are called the four factors.
  11. 11.  Purpose of the use  Good: education, research, scholarship, criticism, commentary, news reporting, a single copy for personal use, transformative works  Bad: anything else, including art and creativity  Nature and character of the work being used  Good: published works, non-fiction  Not so good: unpublished works, creative works  Amount and substantiality of the portion used  Good: a tiny amount  Not so good: more than you need; most or all of the work  VERY BAD: the “heart and soul” of the work  Effect on the market for the original work and derivative works  Good: none  VERY BAD: any
  12. 12.  You absolutely can save a PDF or make a photocopy!  But you can’t share it with anybody, including your students  So you can’t use interlibrary loan to get items to share with your students.  Also you can’t break copy protection or bypass access controls (more on that later)
  13. 13.  A transformative work is what happens when a derivative work has completely different purpose from the original.  Can’t be mistaken for the original.  Can’t substitute for the original.  Transformative examples:  Adding explanation or commentary to a video or image  Putting thumbnail images in a timeline  Not transformative:  Translating a work, revising it, or putting it in a new format  Using a song as background music a video
  14. 14.  Parodies are protected by Fair Use!  Weak protection: tweaking the original work to be a commentary on something else  Weird Al songs (he actually gets permission)  Strong protection: tweaking the original work to comment on itself  Actually Ironic (they rewrote Alanis Morissette’s Isn’t It Ironic so all the examples are actually ironic.)
  15. 15.  You can use this worksheet to determine if what you want to do is Fair Use:  Keep a copy as documentation
  16. 16.  Face-to-face classroom only  Educational purposes only  No extra-curricular activities  No faculty development, conferences, meetings, etc.  No handouts!  Allows performance and display of copyrighted works  Images, art  Documentaries  Movies and TV  Music  Dramatic performances  You can show whole works, but you should only show what you need
  17. 17.  ESC is now TEACH Act compliant!  It acts like the Educational Use exemption, but for online courses
  18. 18.  Images, audio and video!  This is not a way to distribute readings.  It has to be inside the LMS. No external web sites or Web 2.0 tools  You have to clearly mark or caption it  State that it’s copyrighted  Attribute the original source  If it’s a fictional or dramatic work, keep it to a minimum. If it’s a non- fictional work, you can use the whole thing.  It can’t be pirated, bootlegged, etc. It has to be a legal copy, legally obtained.  It’s ok to digitize physical media that you own, but only if there isn’t a born-digital version to buy or subscribe to.
  19. 19.  Getting permission is synonymous with getting a license  There is no exact wording or format, but you need to get it in writing. Document everything!  If you can’t find the copyright owner, you can’t get permission. It’s not ok to use the work anyway.
  20. 20.  Protects the college from liability if faculty, staff or students infringe copyright  The individual faculty, staff and students are not protected from liability  In exchange, the college has to comply with DMCA takedown procedures
  21. 21.  If you have infringing material in a course, web site, blog, etc. then the copyright owner or their designee can send a takedown notice to our copyright agent  Our copyright agent (the VP of IT) has to remove the content immediately, which in practical terms, means that your site comes down  The law does not allow investigation or notification before the material is taken down.
  22. 22.  You have the right to issue a counterclaim and put your course/page/blog back up as is, but if you do so, the copyright owner has 14 days to file a lawsuit against you in federal court  The safer option is to edit your course/page/blog so that it’s no longer infringing, and then it will be put back up  Contact a lawyer first!
  23. 23.  Students – disciplinary action in accordance with the student conduct policy  Faculty and staff – disciplinary action in accordance with the labor-management agreement
  24. 24.  Prohibits attempting to break or bypass either access controls or copy protection.  Even if it would otherwise be legal to make a copy (fair use) you can’t break in to do it!  There are a few exemptions that allow breaking/bypassing copy protection  Making ebooks accessible for blind people  Film studies professors can make compilations of clips  There are no exemptions that allow breaking/bypassing access controls
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