Copyright

You must respect copyright. The software, books, music, films, videos, articles, cartoons, pictures, even e-mail, that you may come across, whether on the Internet, a CD, DVD, tape, or your favorite magazine, are almost always protected by copyright.

It is a violation of law and school policy to copy, distribute, share, download or upload any copyrighted material without the express permission of the copyright owner.

Not everything is protected by copyright law. 
The following are categories of things not protected:

  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, (but written or recorded descriptions, explanations, or illustrations of such things are protected copyright).

  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; mere listings of ingredients or contents (but some titles and words might be protected under trademark law if their use is associated with a particular product or service).

  • Works that are not fixed in a tangible form of expression, such as an improvised speech or performance that is not written down or otherwise recorded.

  • Works consisting entirely of information that is commonly available and contains no originality (for example, standard calendars, standard measures and rulers, lists or tables compiled from public documents or other common sources).

  • Works by the US government.

FAIR USE
The exclusive rights of the copyright owner are not unlimited. The copyright law establishes some limitations on these rights. One of the most important limitations on the exclusive rights is the doctrine of "Fair Use." The "Fair Use" doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes. The copyright law provides that reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research" is not an infringement of copyright. The law lists the following factors, which courts must consider together in determining whether a particular use of a copyrighted work is a permitted "Fair Use," or is instead an infringement of the copyright:

  • Purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes: the noncommercial educational use is more likely to be a fair use.
  • Nature of the copyrighted work: the more factual and less creative the work, the more likely it will be fair use.
  • Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: the more taken the less likely to be fair use.
  • Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: in other words, is the use taking away from the copyright owner money that the she might have been making from the work.
Source:  http://www.copyrightkids.org/cbasicsframes.htm, July 2012

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