Copyright is a set of rights provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, audiovisual and certain other works, including software.
This protection is available to both published and unpublished works that are fixed in a tangible medium. Works do not have to display the copyright symbol © to be protected! Copyright does not protect ideas; it protects the expression of ideas.
The law gives the owner of copyright the right to reproduce the work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies publicly, to perform the work publicly, to display the work publicly, and, in the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission. The owner of the copyright may transfer all or part of these rights to others.
Subject to some exceptions described in this guide, a person exercising any of these rights in another’s work without permission, the person may be liable for copyright infringement.
These are NOT protected by copyright:
A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and
which may be freely used by everyone. The reasons that the work is not protected include:
Fair Use is an exemption to the rights of copyright holders.
from the U.S. Copyright Office http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
Is Fair Use a law?
Yes, Fair Use is codified in Title 17, Section 107 of the U.S. Code.
Is Fair Use only for educators?
No, fair use applies to everyone, nonprofit and commercial users alike. There are, however, certain privileges for educational uses.
Is all educational use "fair use?"
What are some examples of ways copyrighted works can be used under the fair use exemption?
You can use small portions of a copyrighted work to comment and illustrate a point, report news, do research or scholarship, criticism or parody.
How much of a work can I use safely?
There are no amounts or percentages in the law. If you have heard of percentages, those most likely come from guidelines developed over the years by groups like CONFU, but these percentages are not written into the law. When using copyrighted work, use the least amount necessary. Although the law does not specify any amounts, copyright scholars seem comfortable with approximately 10% of a work. If however you have chosen the "heart of the work," a much smaller amount might fail the fair use test. The "heart of the work" of a book might be the pages with the key turning point of a story or the revealing motivation for a person's action. For a song, it might be the 4 second refrain that is recognized worldwide, across generations.
You may have more leeway with amount when you are creating a parody.
What is transformative use?
Think of this along with your first fair use factor. The nature of the use may be commercial or nonprofit, and nonprofit uses are always considered more favorably. But your use may be more than that. If what you do with the copyrighted work adds new meaning, brings new value, or repurposes a work, you have transformed it beyond its original use. The problem with transformative work is that you may think a use is transformative, but the judge may not. It is not always predictable.
Stanford University has some examples to illustrate successful and unsuccessful transformative work.
How do I apply Fair Use in the classroom or in my distance education class?
For class handouts in a face to face classroom, see the tab marked "Classroom Guidelines."
For the use of performance and display in classrooms using digital transmissions (Blackboard, Moodle, etc), see thef TEACH Act.
What's new with Fair Use?
Professional communities of practice are beginning to issue best practices for interpreting Fair Use. Some of these are:
Our thanks to the librarians at the University of Missouri--Kansas City for allowing UMA to reuse this text!
How do I obtain permission?
See more at Stanford Universities Libraries informational page the Basics of Getting permission: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/introduction/getting-permission/
If you need assistance getting permission for copyrighted material please contact Brenda Sevigny-Killen at 207.621.3351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
One More Consideration
The TEACH Act Requirements and Distance Education
The TEACH Act (Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act) amended the copyright law by loosening the restrictions on using copyrighted works in distance education. The revised section 110(2) and added section 112 (f) of the U. S. Copyright Act allows educators to use certain copyrighted works in distance education without permission from the copyright owner and without copyright infringement. In order to benefit, educational institutions and faculty must adhere to the Act’s conditions and requirements.
Important points to know in relation to UMS online courses include but are not limited to:
Want to stream a major motion picture or a documentary?
Use the Copyright Advisory Network's Exemptions for Instructors tool to for help making decisions about your use of online video: http://librarycopyright.net/resources/exemptions/
Under the TEACH Act you may stream portions of the film for a class session only (not the entire semester). For streaming the entire film for the entire semester, permission may be necessary.
This act DOES NOT apply when a film's distributor limits use with their license. License restrictions always trump the TEACH Act.
Librarians are happy to give copyright guidance on whether your use complies with copyright law. For assistance contact Brenda Sevigny-Killen at 207.621.3351 or email email@example.com.
Using copyrighted images in your Bb course site or in a classroom presentation will likely fall under Fair Use.
Posting copyrighted images on a website or using them in published work without permission is copyright infringement.
Thanks to the Butler University Libraries for creating and sharing this fabulous comprehensive guide on Using Images.
The University of Maine System licenses with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC each year to allow for performance of music. Open recitals, like Jazz Week, are covered by these licenses with the exception of theatrical performances where music is involved (e.g. musicals). Please contact Rob Sobczak if you have questions.
ASCAP - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
BMI - Broadcast Music, Inc.
SESAC - not an acronym!
My use of [choose any or all] video, articles, books, images, music is educational so I can put it in Blackboard... right?
Educational use addresses the "purpose" of the use but is only one of four factors that must be considered. Nature, amount, and effect on the market must be considered as well. See the Fair Use Checklist for determining Fair Use.
Can I put my textbook on e-reserve?
This is not permissible under copyright law. In some cases one chapter on e-reserve is permissible under fair use. Have you considered using open access textbooks to sve your students' some money? For more information see the Open Access Textbooks website.
Should I use YouTube videos in my Blackboard class?
I found an article in one our databases this morning—I want students in my online class to read it this week. Can I copy and paste it into Black Board?
See the e-reserves box in the Best Practices tab for more information.
What are the rules for downloading audio and video content from a public site (like Reuters/NYtimes/AP/etc.) and providing that video for students in a blended classroom environment?
Embedding copyrighted content (streaming video from a public site like You Tube, NY Times, or other freely available sites) is not permissible. It is permissible, however, to post a link to the streaming content so that viewers can access it themselves—try to make sure the link is to a legitimate source.
Can I stream an entire video through my Blackboard course site?
What are the rules for providing students with content that they have access to through the UMA library databases in a blended or purely online classroom?
Any content used in the online classroom and shared with students should be provided via e-reserves. If that is not possible, a chapter from a book for example, provide a scanned copy to the e-reserves librarian for uploading in the e-reserves folder.
What are the rules for posting instructor resources online? What about PPT files that accompany a textbook?
Check the contract from the vendor. In many cases, the files may be uploaded onto Blackboard if it is to be used in conjunction with the textbook, but to be on the safe side, check the contract on the DVD itself.
Are there any copyright exceptions for online courses?
Yes. See information on the TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act of 2002 and Fair Use elsewhere in this guide.