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Helpful Copyright Information
Remember: Being an educator does not automatically make all uses qualify as "fair use."
What is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement is downloading or sharing copyrighted material, such as music or movies, without the permission of the copyright holder. Profit is not a necessary element for copyright infringement.
Ownership? Licensing vs. Purchasing
- "Ownership" of any item does not grant complete freedom to use it in any way.
- You license digital media such as audio and video, rather than purchase it. There may be greater restrictions on use.
- Ownership in one format (DVD) does not necessarily grant rights to convert to another format (streaming video).
- Even free (no-cost) content can be subject to copyright.
Why Should I Care?
- You, the individual faculty member, or the university may face potential consequences for copyright infringement.
- We as scholars and content creators should be respectful of the work of others.
- We should teach our students by example to be respectful of the works of others.
The Good News
- Fair use guidelines help protect your right to use content in certain ways, especially in a class for a curricular purpose.
- Some creators use Creative Commons or similar licenses, which are intended to provide more rights to content users.
- Some sites allow more freedom for use in nonprofit educational contexts.
Your Best Bets
- Use a Fair Use checklist (ilke this one from Columbia U.
) to gauge your intended use.
- Remember that fair use guidelines are exactly that: guidelines, not clearly defined rules. Only a judge can definitively decide whether or not a use was fair or infringing.
- Copyright ownership shall remain with the creator of the work except as otherwise provided by Section 11.2.
Faculty Work - Highlights:
- Component faculty, staff, and students own the copyright of works they create on their own initiative and own time without the use of substantial Component resources (e.g., substantial monetary award explicitly for creation of the work).
- Faculty and staff retain the copyright of works they create within the scope of their employment which are created in the fulfillment of their teaching and scholarly responsibilities.
- If a work is directed or contracted by the Component on a work for hire basis, then the Component owns the copyright.
- Copyright ownership in works that are created pursuant to sponsored or third-party research funding, including works funded by grants, shall be determined in accordance with the terms of any agreement governing such funding.
- If any such agreement is silent as to ownership, then the Component shall own the copyright of such works.
Student Work - Highlights:
- Students own the copyright in works created in their role as a student, including research papers, essays, theses, dissertations, published articles, and visual works of art and/or audio/visual/digital recordings of artistic performances.
- Works created at the direction of or under contract with Component faculty or staff as part of a student’s employment with the Component are considered works for hire.
Great Videos on Copyright
Copyright on Campus
A brief, engaging introduction to academic fair use and copyright issues. Video from the Copyright Clearance Center.
A Fair(y) Use Tale
A funny, instructive, and creative way to demonstrate the fair use of copyrighted material using "snippets" from a particular organization that is very protective of its copyrights. Video from Stanford University.