Intellectual Property, Copyright,
and Distance Learning

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The increasing number of online courses and use of the Internet in distance learning is redefining copyright protection boundaries on intellectual property. The purpose of this project is to link to Web-based articles that review the literature in this area or that pose substantive arguments as to the current state of affairs and where we may be going on this issue. We also want to provide links to relevant associations that have an interest in these issues, and provide a bibliography of print articles that illuminate the issue. Please send your suggestions to James L. Morrison.

The United States Copyright Office Guidelines
Under U.S. law, faculty and students have rights to use copyrighted intellectual property for educational (non-profit) activities called "fair use" rights. The Library of Congress Copyright Office publishes guidelines on its Web site for fair use by educators and students, as well as information for authors who wish to register the copyrights to their material.  This authoritative site links to sections on frequently asked questions, publications, international copyright issues, pending changes, and many other topics. 

For further information, read a pamphlet from the Library of Congress about fair use and copyright registration. (Note: viewing this pamphlet requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

An Introduction to Fair Use
The University of St. Francis in Illinois has collected information on various topics related to fair use.  Its selection includes some issues which may be of particular interest to Technology Source readers, such as the rules governing use of audiovisual aids and materials for distance education.  This site offers tutorials and a self-quiz, and some educators may even find that its user-friendly design makes it practical for use in instruction on the subject of copyright.

Fair Use Information for Educators and Students
The State University of New York at Albany has compiled guidelines for fair use of copyrighted works by educators and students. Specific topics addressed on the site  include: the four factors involved in determining fair use, how to get permission to make copies of copyrighted material, guidelines for electronic lists and discussions, and citations for readings on current copyright law. The site also includes links to other university libraries whose Web pages contain information on copyright issues. 

Fair Use Information, Sample Permission Letter, and Listserv Information
The Consortium for Educational Technology for University Systems (CETUS) has published a pamphlet about intellectual property and copyright issues in higher education. The online version of the publication outlines the impact of ownership and proper use issues, and provides quick access to common academic resource use and distribution scenarios. The site provides other valuable tools such as a sample permission letter, and links to other Web resources. CETUS' Working Group on Ownership sounds a call to action, asking other organizations to join the discussion about fair use and assist in the formation of a national alliance that could guide higher education through ongoing and future fair use concerns. To this end, CETUS has also established a listserv, and encourages discussion of developments and opinions about intellectual ownership and usage.

Intellectual Property Legal Issues
Stanford University Libraries have established a Web reference about copyright and intellectual property norms and legal issues. The site provides links to judicial and legislative law and standards, and offers information about the current status of pending copyright actions. Numerous articles and publications can be accessed through this site; both casual and dedicated observers will find many details about proper use of Internet, multimedia, and software resources, to name a few. The site is particularly useful to those who might have a professional interest in copyright standards, such as librarians and legal scholars. Note: this page was translated into Slovenian by Victor Zdrawlica.

Educators, Technology, and the Law–Common Questions / Direct Answers
This publication compliments Attorney Enghagen's Technology Source Commentary "Copyright Law and Fair Use: Why Ignorance Isn't Bliss--A Case For Using Guidelines" (April 1998). Her pamphlet uses a simple question and answer format to address common questions educators ask concerning software, videos, and the Internet. For example, why isn't "borrowing" software like borrowing a book? Under what circumstances can television programs be copied and shown in the classroom? Are materials posted to the Internet without a copyright notice free for anyone to use? What is copyright infringement? The pamphlet also contains many useful web site links for further information.

Coalition CNI-COPYRIGHT Forum
This forum features an open archive of previous postings to a list concerning copyright issues, as well as the opportunity to join the list. The list is designed to give those who ask, answer, and discuss copyright questions of any type a forum for discussion. Discussion is not limited to any one specific area of copyright issues.  The archived discussions are very thorough and wide-ranging, and there is always the opportunity to post your own question if it has not already been discussed.

LIBLICENSE-L Mailing List
This is a moderated list for the discussion of issues related to the licensing of digital information by academic and research libraries. This list is designed to assist librarians and others concerned with the licensing of information in digital format in dealing with some of the unique challenges faced by this new medium. Information providers (creators, publishers and vendors) who deal with libraries are welcomed as members of LIBLICENSE-L.

CoolClass Chronicle
This newsletter provides information on key issues in the world of academia and information technology and also advises subscribers of new features on the CoolClass website.  The goal of CoolClass is to provide a set of research and teaching tools designed to make using the Internet easy for academics.

ScreenSite: Copyright, Fair Use, and Other Legal Matters: Film/Television/Video Topics
A collection of links about legal issues surrounding visual media.

Intellectual Property and Copyright Use Collection
An alphabetical index of copyright-related resources from the American Distance Education Consortium.

Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom, on the Internet, and the World Wide Web
This document's purpose is to help faculty, students and staff make informed decisions before using materials in the classroom, for course reserves, or the Internet or World Wide Web. This document provides: an introduction to copyright; an introduction to fair use; Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia: a review of guidelines designed to help faculty, staff, or students comply with fair use guidelines when using images, computer programs, or other materials obtained via the Internet or WWW; and a sample letter to use to request permission to use copyrighted materials.

Understanding and Applying Copyright
This brief article is a quickly read and understood overview of copyright. It offers background information on copyright issues, helpful advice, and links to outside resources.  Great for anyone who needs a quick refresher on these constantly developing issues.

Lus Mentis: Law and Technology Explained
This website, developed by Arnoud Engelfriet, a European patent attorney, offers crash courses on intellectual property rights, patents, copyrights, trademarks and database rights. The courses focus on general principles, requirements, procedures, international treaties, who can obtain intellectual property rights, and the effects and rights granted by intellectual property rights.

Reproducing Pictures, Photos, Photographs, or Photography
This page outlines some legal traps involving copyright notice, modifying & displaying images, public domain images, and fair use. It will help you to find images you can use legally, as well as free images. It is particularly useful for anyone concerned with using images on their websites.

10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained
This is an essay about copyright myths, which assumes you have a working familiarity with copyright.  It is considered a "classic" reference for disabusing common copyright myths.

Articles About Corporate Training and Online Education
A collection of articles about copyright and fair use issues in corporate training and online education.  The newest work is one on rights to the use of student work, and there are articles about school policies and fair use in online courses.

Who Owns Online Courses and Course Materials?
Intellectual Property Policies for a New Learning Environment

Carol A. Twigg highlights discussion from The Pew Learning and Technology Symposium held February 17-18, 2000, in Miami, Florida, where leaders from higher education examined intellectual property issues arising from the changing interface among professors, universities, and the commercial world. Recommendations for developing university policy regarding these issues are provided.

Web Tools Newsletter Special Issue on Copyright in Education
This edition of the newsletter focuses on copyright laws and the practical aspects of their application in education. The editors link to a variety of informative sources on the subject

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights
This US Government web site defines intellectual property and provides salient tips on how to protect that property.

Patents, Trademarks, & Copyrights
This site by a national paralegal group, defines the concepts and provides relevant legal information on the topic.

The global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC)
This center is an affiliate of the U.S. Champer of Commerce. It champions intellectual property rights "as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and gneerating breakthrough solutions to global challenges." The site describes GIPC's efforts to strengthen the protection and enforcement of IP rights.


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