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Intellectual Property, Fair Use, & Copyright Law
"Publishing copyrighted material without the consent of the owner on District Web sites in violation of copyright laws." - ETAC Procedures Regarding Misuse of Computer Information AP 3250.*
While many of us are aware of the concepts of fair use, intellectual property, and copyright laws, we may not know how these laws actually apply online. Indeed, fair use online is quite different than that found in the traditional classroom. Infringement/violation of these legal constructs usually occur because the specifics of the laws governing use are unknown or vague. Hopefully, this guide will help you figure out what is fair, appropriate, and legal use of the materials you have chosen to provide online for your course(s).
While there are many detailed documents that describe Fair Use, you may find that these three simple guidelines can be used to answer most of your questions about Fair Use of media on line:
1) If you do not own the work, you may use it for one college quarter without asking permission. It must be removed at the end of the quarter unless you have asked and received permission.
2) The copyrighted on line media must be located in a password protected area (i.e. Catalyst or iTunesU) and made available only to your enrolled students. This rule remains in place regardless of permissions, and applies to any on line media that is claimed by the college or faculty to be Fair Use.
3) You may only use a percentage of the complete work. The percentage may vary with the type of work, but generally you should use no more that 10% of the total work if it is a long work, i.e. a feature film. If it is a short work, i.e a piece of music, you should use no more than 30 seconds.
In general, you would want to ask yourself "How would I want my intellectual property treated if someone else was going to use it in their course?" Remember, Fair Use is not a law. It is a set of guidelines intended to help protect you from lawsuits in case a legal issue arises.
Resources from FHDA
Resources from the Office of General Counsel, University of Texas System
Editor's note: This website is the single greatest compilation of documentation on these subjects I have found. They cite policy, federal law, and case law. While some of the information on the site pertains ONLY to the University of Texas system, they are still generally EXCELLENT guidelines.
Other External Resources
Intellectual Property Rights, Fair Use, & Copyright Laws Discussion (Online discussion forum in the Catalyst Up-And-Running for Faculty at De Anza College Course in Catalyst. Contact Mary Parke at email@example.com if you wish to be enrolled in this online course.)
FHDA Webstreaming/Video/Audio Flowchart
Please note: For "How much of the content are you going to use online", refer to the Summary of Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines - "portion use" section.
Building: MLC 250