Copyright, Fair Use & Creative Commons
What is Copyright? The legal answer...
"Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute; they are limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use.
Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to any expressed representation of a creative work. Under US copyright law, however, legal protection attaches only to fixed representations in a tangible medium. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rightsholders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and "moral rights" such as attribution.
Copyrights are considered territorial rights, which means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific jurisdiction. While many aspects of national copyright laws have been standardized through international copyright agreements, copyright laws vary by country.Typically, the duration of copyright is the author's life plus 50 to 100 years (that is, copyright typically expires 50 to 100 years after the author dies, depending on the jurisdiction). Some countries require certain copyright formalities to establishing copyright, but most recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration. Generally, copyright is enforced as a civil matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal sanctions."
Image Credit above right: https://lovelyword7.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/copyright.jpg
In other words...
- make copies of your work
- distribute copies of your work
- perform your work publicly
- display your work publicly
- make derivative works
Others must ask and be granted permission from you to do any of the above.
There are a few exceptions. (Fair Use is one exception...discussed below.)
What is Fair Use? The legal answer...
"Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test.
The term "fair use" originated in the United States. A similar-sounding principle, fair dealing, exists in some other common law jurisdictions but in fact it is more similar in principle to the enumerated exceptions found under civil law systems. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright.
Image credit above right: http://ctle.hccs.edu/copyright/copyright/images/fair_flower.jpg
In other words...
Educators should consider:
1- Nature- What material is being used? What is the contest of presenting the material?
2- Purpose- Why is it being used? How will this benefit students?
3- Amount- How much of the content is being used?
4- Effect- Will it impact the owner in a negative way? Will it help students understand a concept better?
5- Transformativeness- Is the cost to the owner less than the benefit to the owner?
Check out the video below.
View the video to gain a deeper understanding of Fair Use. Complete the discussion questions to test your knowledge.
What is Creative Commons? The legal answer...
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it. They replace individual negotiations for specific rights between copyright owner (licensor) and licensee, which are necessary under an "all rights reserved" copyright management, with a "some rights reserved" management employing standardized licenses for re-use cases where no commercial compensation is sought by the copyright owner. The result is an agile, low-overhead and low-cost copyright-management regime, profiting both copyright owners and licensees. Wikipedia uses one of these licenses.
A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, they might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work."
Questions for our team?
Click to see details on specific Creative Commons Public Licenses.