Big Idea - Copyright and Fair Use

Photo of multiple cds Heading to the photocopier and not sure what you can or cannot copy for your students? Recording a documentary on PBS you would like your students to view?

What you can and cannot do with other authors' creative works is subject to issues related to copyright and Fair Use.

Copyright law and Fair Use guidelines are complex issues. Although copyright law is cut and dry in terms of its definition, Fair Use is much more subjective.

Copyright gives the author of an original work exclusive rights for a certain period of time in relation to a particular piece of work. Rights refer to the publication, distribution and adaptation of the creative work. After a given period of time, the work is said to enter the public domain.

Fair Use is a U.S. doctrine that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review.

Questions as to what defines "limited" and "fair" can be a matter of interpretation depending on the intention of the materials being used.

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