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Content posted on the website listed below is based upon the U.S. Copyright Office regulations and on the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976: http://www.copyrightoncampus.com
Special Copyright Provisions for Academia The Copyright Act contains specific exceptions for the use of copyright-protected materials by academic institutions. These provisions include:
Copyright is a set of laws that offer the copyright owner protection over his or her intellectual property, whether it is published or unpublished. Copyright law often comes into play when people want to use a copyrighted work in some way that encroaches on these owners' rights. Copyright protections give the owner the sole rights to:
- Reproduce the work;
- Prepare derivative works based upon the work;
- Distribute copies of the work;
- Display the work;
- Perform the work publicly (if the work is a literary, musical, dramatic, motion picture or other audiovisual work. In the case of sound recordings, the owner maintains the right to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.)
From Copyright Basics, U.S. Copyright Office, available online here.
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Under the “fair use” rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author’s work without asking permission. However, “fair use” is open to interpretation. Fair use is intended to support teaching, research, and scholarship, but educational purpose alone does not make every use of a work fair. It is always important to analyze how you are going use a particular work against the following four factors of fair use.
- What is your purpose in using the material? Are you going to use the material for monetary gain or for education or research purposes?
- What is the characteristic nature of work – is it fact or fiction; has it been published or not?
- How much of the work are you going to use? Small amount or large? Is it the significant or central part of the work?
- How will your use of the work affect the author’s or the publisher’s ability to sell the material? If your purpose is for research or education, your effect on the market value may be difficult to prove. However, if your purpose is commercial gain, then you are not following fair use.