Copyright And The Internet


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This is a presentation created for IT 648 at The University of Southern Mississippi in partial completion of course requirements. The topic is copyright and the internet, and is intended as an overview only. The owner is not a lawyer, has never been one, and has absolutely no expertise in delivering legal advice.

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Copyright And The Internet

  1. 1. Copyright and the Internet: An Overview for Students and Educators By Terri Sasser, MPH The University of Southern Mississippi IT 648 / July 2008
  2. 2. What is a copyright? <ul><li>“ The exclusive right, granted by federal statute to the creator of a written, musical, artistic, or similar work, to control the reproduction and exploitation of the work for a considerable period of time, usually the life of the author plus 50 years. It is not the ideas and facts in a work that are protected, but the way in which they are expressed.” </li></ul><ul><li>For the purposes of this presentation, we will focus on printed material copyrights. </li></ul>Webster’s Legal Dictionary
  3. 3. Brief history of copyright <ul><li>First copyright statute in 1710 came about as a result of the invention of the printing press, which greatly increased the number of copies available to the public for dissemination and purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of copyright in the United States is to provide an incentive to authors to create new works. </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright law has a history of adapting to changes in technology as they occurred, including photography, moving pictures, piano rolls, radio, television, and cable. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital media changes needed to adapt to the two-way communication that is now so open and so accessible. </li></ul>Jackson, 2000
  4. 4. Basic rights of copyright holders <ul><li>To reproduce the work </li></ul><ul><li>To prepare derivative works </li></ul><ul><li>To perform the work in public </li></ul><ul><li>To display the work in public </li></ul><ul><li>Interference with any of these rights may constitute copyright infringement. </li></ul>Knopp & Suter, 1998
  5. 5. Copyright in the digital age <ul><li>Copyright Act of 1976 was passed to address issues created by the newly emerging computer technology </li></ul><ul><li>Despite frequent updates, many believed the law was inadequate to cover the capabilities of the digital age </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 created new protections for copyright management systems, digital recordings, and certain original designs and limits liability for online service providers. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What constitutes copyright infringement? <ul><li>Direct infringement occurs when a person intentionally violates another person’s copyright by copying or using the protected work without permission. </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect infringement occurs when a person assists or materially contributes to direct infringement. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples of copyright infringement <ul><li>Downloading or uploading software without approval. </li></ul><ul><li>Copying a web site. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing links to sites where software can be illegally obtained. </li></ul><ul><li>Copying entire books for students without express permission of the author. </li></ul><ul><li>Charging a fee beyond the cost of copying so that the school or instructor is in some way compensated for the use of the copyrighted material. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is “Fair Use?” <ul><li>“ Reasonable and limited use of a copyrighted work without permission of the owner, as in quoting a few lines of a book in a review of the book. Such use is not an infringement of copyright.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fair use seeks to balance the rights of users with the rights of owners. </li></ul><ul><li>First used successfully as a defense against copyright infringement in 1891. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of copyrighted materials must be for the good of society , such as for educational purposes. Also includes criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. </li></ul>Webster’s Legal Dictionary
  9. 9. Factors considered in determining Fair Use <ul><li>The purpose and the character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>The nature of the copyrighted work. </li></ul><ul><li>The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>The effect of the use on the potential market for and value of the copyrighted work. </li></ul>Knopp & Suter, 1998
  10. 10. Classroom guidelines for Fair Use <ul><li>Brevity: The standards require that the instructor make use of not more than 1000 words or 10 percent (whichever is less) of an entire lengthy work. The entire work may be copied if it is less than 2500 words. </li></ul><ul><li>Spontaneity: The copying must be done “at the instance and inspiration of the individual” and not directed by a higher authority than the teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative Effect: A work may be copied only for one course per school. Multiple copying may occur only nine times per course per term, and there may be no cost to the student other than the actual costs of the copying. The copyright symbol, the year of publication, and the copyright owner must appear on the copy. </li></ul>Knopp & Suter, 1998
  11. 11. Copyright committee as a possible remedy <ul><li>Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, established a committee to review items instructors wish to include in their courses. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized and staffed by librarians, the librarians work to secure permission – if necessary – to reproduce materials prior to inclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information, contact the chat line at the Library at Rio Salado, </li></ul>
  12. 12. Copyright concerns for students <ul><li>Digital age has allowed students to create more copyrightable material, such as threaded discussions and multimedia materials. </li></ul><ul><li>If a student receives academic credit or a grade for the work, the student is generally considered the owner. </li></ul><ul><li>If students are employed by the educational institution as a research assistant, their ownership is more that of a paid employee, which gives the institution ownership. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Educators and multimedia presentations <ul><li>Arn, Gatlin, and Kordsmeir distributed a questionnaire to Association of Business Communicators members reflected a grade of “C” on how well they understood copyright limitations in multimedia presentations. </li></ul><ul><li>Test your knowledge on questions from that questionnaire. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How well do you understand copyright limitations in multimedia presentations? <ul><li>Does the fact that a previously published work is out of print affect its copyright protection? (No) </li></ul><ul><li>Does copyright protection protect both published and unpublished works? (Yes) </li></ul><ul><li>May an educator who wants to demonstrate to a class how to a multimedia work use copyrighted materials without permission? (Yes) </li></ul>
  15. 15. How well do you understand copyright limitations in multimedia presentations? <ul><li>May students use copyrighted material lawfully acquired in their portfolios for job interviews? (Yes) </li></ul><ul><li>May an educator share with peers multiple copies of his or her locally produced multimedia teaching materials which contain lawfully acquired copyrighted segments? (No) </li></ul><ul><li>May students use portions of copyrighted media lawfully acquired in their multimedia projects to fulfill assignments without copyright permission ? (Yes) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Internet resources for further study on copyright issues <ul><li>ALA Washington Office Copyright Issues, </li></ul><ul><li>University at Albany Libraries Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Fair Use Resources </li></ul><ul><li>United States Copyright Office </li></ul><ul><li>World Intellectual Property Organization </li></ul>Schlosser, 0000
  17. 17. Some final thoughts on copyright <ul><li>Educators must consider copyright implications when selecting course materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for materials in the public domain and accessible by fair use standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider setting up a committee, creating guidelines for educators and students at your institution. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember, as students and educators who both create and use copyrighted material, we’re all in this together! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Bibliography <ul><li>Arn, Joseph V., Gatlin, Rebecca, & Kordsmeir, William (1998) Multimedia copyright laws and guidelines. Business Communication Quarterly, 61(4) , 32-39. </li></ul><ul><li>Barck, Lauren (2007, November) Concern over copyright: Unfamiliarity with fair use hampers media literacy. School Library Journal , p. 22-23. </li></ul><ul><li>Clapp, James E. (1996) Webster’s Legal Dictionary. Random House: New York City. </li></ul><ul><li>Davis, Hazel M. (2006) Copyright in the online course environment. Journal of Library Administration, 45, 513-515. </li></ul><ul><li>General information retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>July 25, 2008. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Bibliography <ul><li>General information retrieved from , July 25, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Jackson, Matt (2000) The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998: A proposed amendment to accommodate free speech. Communication Law & Policy, 5, 61-92. </li></ul><ul><li>Kopp, Steven W. & Suter, Tracy A. (1998) Developments in copyright policy and network technologies: The first generation. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 17 (2), 303-312. </li></ul><ul><li>Schlosser, Melanie (0000) Fair use in the digital environment: A research guide. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 46(1), 11-17. </li></ul><ul><li>Todd, Jeff (2007) Student rights in online course materials: Rethinking the faculty/university dynamic. Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology , 17 , 311, 13590 words </li></ul>