Copyright 101

Copyright is a protection given to the creators of work that entitles them to control who can use their work and for what it can be used. Works are copyrighted as soon as they are created whether there is a copyright notice or not. Typically copyrighted works cannot be used/copied without the permission of the creator.

Copyrighted works can be used without permission in certain situations known as “fair-use.” What is an is not fair use is not specifically defined. To determine whether or not the use of a copyrighted work constitutes fair use the 4 things that are considered are.

  1. How the work is being used (if you are making money off of a copyrighted work it probably isn’t fair use)
  2. The kind of work that is being copied
  3. The amount of the work being used (less is better)
  4. Whether or not the use will effect the value of the work being copied.

The rules for fair-use also depend on the medium of the work being copied. Print materials can be copied once but only if permission can’t be obtained. Videos and music can be played in class if the purpose is educational.



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