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Copyright: Home

Recommended Copyright Websites

Note:  The information found on the websites referenced above contain excellent information on fair use and copyright in general.  They may also reference Section 110 and the TEACH Act, both of which do not pertain to for-profit institutions.

Fair Use Tools

Section 110 (Title 17, U.S. Code) and the Teach Act

Section 110 provides instructors with the expanded rights to legally use copyright-protected performances and displays of works (including audiovisual material) in the classroom as part of the instructional activities of a course.  The TEACH Act provides additional allowances for digital transmission of material in distance education courses.  Both Section 110 and the Teach Act stipulate that institutions operating under the exemptions provided must be nonprofit.  This Waldorf College copyright guide does not incorporate exemptions under either.  

General Information

This guide is intended to serve as an information resource for faculty at Waldorf College.  Specific guidelines on the use of course reserves and other teaching-related activities include areas of modification of traditional guidelines in light of Waldorf's for-profit status.  All copyrighted information used must meet the criteria for fair use.  Permission or licensing must be obtained for usage not meeting the criteria.

Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code)

Copyright Basics

Duration of copyright:  visit Cornell University's Copyright Terms and the Public Domain chart

Fair Use (Section 107, Title 17, U.S. Code)

The following excerpt is from the U.S. Copyright Office fair use factsheet:

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

    1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
    2. The nature of the copyrighted work
    3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
    4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

Note:  All entities, for-profit or not, may be eligible to claim fair use when the intended use meets the criteria listed in Section 107. 

Fair Use Court Case Summaries (Compiled by Stanford University Libraries)

Public Domain

Public domain refers to material not under copyright restriction.  Items published by the federal government are not considered copyright eligible and are automatically considered to be in the public domain. Public domain material also includes items for which copyright terms have expired and items for which authors/creators voluntarily allow unrestricted use.  

Copyright Terms and the Public Domain (Cornell University)

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Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization which provides flexible copyright licensing options for creators of a variety of works. Symbols indicating the different licenses by this organization have become common and are an easy way to determine if a material can be used in a certain context.