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LIS 1001 Fall 2014: Copyright

For use with the classes taught by Librarians

Copyright Rules

COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOL PROJECTS

Can I use this photograph or illustration in my project?

• You can use one but no more than five by the same photographer or illustrator without the permission of the creator. To use more, you need to ask permission. You must include a bibliography of any work you use.

Can I use this music in my project?

• You can use up to 10% of a song or musical work in a presentation. Some guidelines say you can use no more than 30 seconds from one song. To use more, you need to ask permission. You must include a bibliography of any work you use. Can I use this video clip in my project? • You can use (without the creator’s permission) up to 10% or up to 3 minutes (whichever is less) of copyrighted videotapes, DVDs, encyclopedias on CD-ROM, etc. To use more, you need to ask permission. You must include a bibliography of any work you use. 

 Can I use this text material in my project? You can use (without the creator’s permission)

• A poem with less than 250 words

• Up to of 250 words from a poem greater than 2500 words

• Articles, stories, or essays less than 2,500 words •

Part of a longer work: 10% of the work or 1,000 words •

One chart, picture, diagram, graph, cartoon or picture per book, encyclopedia, newspaper, or magazine •

Two pages from a picture book with less than 2,500 words To use more, you need to ask permission. You must include a bibliography of any work you use. You may keep your project in a portfolio forever, but you should not put it on the Web.

 

Permission to reproduce pending

from: Kathy Schrock

What is Copyright?

 

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a set of federal laws,[1] stemming from Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the U.S. Constitution, which grant authors and artists the exclusive right to benefit from their creations.

The basics of copyright are fairly straightforward. A copyright is a property right. A person owns a copyright in much the same way he owns a car. Just as it is against the law to use or borrow someone else's car without the owner's permission, it is generally against the law to use someone's copyrighted work without first obtaining her consent. Additionally, just as no one but the automobile owner can legally sell, give away or change the appearance of a car, no one but the copyright owner, with a few exceptions, may legally transfer or alter a copyrighted work.

Copyright law encourages and rewards the creativity of authors and artists. If, for example, members of the public (or a movie studio) could freely copy the novel Interview With the Vampire without compensating or obtaining permission from author Anne Rice, she and other authors would likely be unwilling to invest the time, energy and resources necessary to create books in the first place. Copyright, therefore, ensures a robust collection of original works available for public enjoyment and benefit, which is its main goal.[2]

1 17 U.S.C. §§ 101-1101.
2 See, e.g., Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 114 S. Ct. 1164, 1169 (1994).

What Does Copyright Protect?

Copyright protects literary works, sound recordings, works of art, musical compositions, computer programs and architectural works, provided that the work satisfies certain requirements.[6]

First, the work must be original.[7]

This means that the author must have shown at least a small spark of creativity when she made the work. For example, courts have said that simply arranging listings in a telephone book alphabetically according to the last name of the phone service subscriber lacks the creativity necessary to qualify for a copyright.[8]

Second, the work must be "fixed in any tangible medium of expression."[9]

This "fixation" requirement means that only works preserved in a tangible form (a book, a newspaper, a video, a CD-ROM disk, etc.) -- as opposed to those existing entirely in an artist's mind -- will receive copyright protection.

6 17 U.S.C. § 102.
7 17 U.S.C. § 102(a).
8 Feist Publications Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service, 499 U.S. 340 (1991).
9 17 U.S.C. § 102(a).

From the SPLC Student Press Law Center