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Copyright & Electronic Rights

What Is Copyright?

The Copyright Handbook defines copyright as "a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used."The purpose of copyright is to protect the economic rights of creators, whether they are writers, musicians, or artists. Copyright means that creators have the right to be acknowledged and paid for use of their work.

What Can be Copyrighted?

Physical, original expressions can be copyrighted. A presentation that is not recorded in some physical medium (print, photography, etc.) cannot be copyrighted. However, anything that is tangible can be copyrighted. There are three fundamental requirements for something to be copyrighted:

What Cannot be Protected by Copyright?

What Does Copyright Protect?

The four basic protections are:

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is the most significant limitation on the copyright holder's exclusive rights. The individual who wants to use a copyrighted work must weigh four factors: The purpose and character of the use:

The nature of the copyrighted work:

The amount and substantiality of the portion used:

The effect of use on the potential market for the copyrighted work:

Rules for Fair Use for Instructors

Copying by teachers must meet the tests of brevity and spontaneity:

Special works:

The use of the copies should be for one course at one school. The copies should include a notice of copyright acknowledging the author of the work. NOTE: It is recommended that teachers, faculty, or instructors consider both the special guidelines for instructor and take into account the four factors that are used to evaluate fair use when they are deciding what and how much of a copyrighted work to use.

What Can Be Copied?

What Should Be Avoided?

When is Permission Required?

Copyright and Electronic Publishing

Internet and Copyright

Additional Online Resources


Web Author: Jennifer Lagier Fellguth
Copyright 2007 by Jennifer Lagier Fellguth - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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