Copyright laws are intended to protect the creators of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual works. Whenever you create any work, you automatically own the copyright to it, and control the use that is made of the work. A limitation to copyright, in an educational setting, is the doctrine of fair use, which protects the First Amendment right to free speech (see below).
FAIR USE DOCTRINE
Fair use of a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, satire, comment, reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. Fair use applies to materials used for educational purposes in an educational institution. If the use of the work cuts into the commercial market for the work, it may not be considered fair use.CAUTION: If you post work to the Internet, it may not be protected under the fair use doctrine.
1. You may make a single photocopy of any material you need to do your schoolwork, or for your own personal research. You may keep the copies you make as long as you like, but you may not sell them, nor may you make copies of your copies.
2. You may use up to 30 seconds of a popular song in a presentation for class. The music you use should be played from legitimately purchased or borrowed recordings, or recorded off the air.
3. You may use copyrighted material to do your schoolwork, but if you use an author's ideas or images, you must give the author credit, either in the text or in a footnote, with a citation. Failure to give credit to the author is plagiarism. If you use extensive amounts of a single work, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
4. Use of copyrighted materials outside of regular class work requires written permission of the copyright holder. This includes graphic material such as cartoon characters, audio, and video.