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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Trademark vs Copyright
The differences in trademark vs. copyright law are subtler than they might first appear. Understanding the difference between the two, and what they can protect, is a crucial part of protecting your company’s intellectual property. Many thanks to Alex for suggesting this resource.
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.
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
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
Who Owns Online Courses and
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
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.
The Ultimate Guide to Copyright
This guide will walk you through the most important issues concerning copyright law and its practical applications. It is a straightforward, well-written document covering such issues as the history and philosopy of copyright, copyright registration, fair use, DMCA, creative commons, and US/European copyright law.
Note: This section has been translated into Estonian, Latvian, Macedonian, and Ukranian.