Useful Copyright Information
- Cite your sources!
- Understand that all works are copyrighted, unless otherwise stated (except those in the public domain). A copyright symbol or statement does not need to appear.
- The following guidelines are from the Consortium of College and University Media Centers guidelines and are not the actual limits of fair use. These are simply guidelines to provide assistance. The actual fair use statute does not use quantifiable concepts.
- For a multimedia project, include an opening screen stating that your project contains copyrighted materials which have been used under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you have made alterations, those must be indicated.
- Use up to 10% or 30 seconds of music, whichever is less.
- Use up to 10% or three minutes, whichever is less, of an individual program (film, video, television) in a multimedia project.
- Use up to 10% or 1000 words of copyrighted text, whichever is less.
- When copying a poem, use up to 250 words, but you are further limited to: three poems or portions of poems by one poet; or five poems or portions of poems by different poets from an anthology.
- Use up to 5 works of photos and images from one author; up to 10% or 15 works, whichever is less, from a collection.
- Use up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries of database information, whichever is less.
- Ask permission by mail or e-mail if you need to use more of a copyrighted work than fair use allows. Use the Sample Request Letter.
- Purchase your own copies of software.
- When in doubt, ask a librarian or check one of the links listed below.
- Exceed the limits on amounts of copyrighted works that can be used in multimedia projects without asking for permission from the copyright holder.
- Copy a friend's (or anyone's) software or copyrighted music or DVD files onto your computer's hard drive or burn to a CD. If you like it so much, please buy it so that the author/publisher makes enough money to develop new versions and sequels! Beware of web sites, such as Limewire, which may make it easy to copy music files from other hard drives. These files are probably copyrighted. If in doubt, don't copy!
- Allow a friend (or anyone) to copy your software or copyrighted music files onto his/her computer's hard drive.
- Use a web site's HTML code without permission.
- Give out passwords for online services which Orange High School has purchased (such as an ABC-CLIO database or Gale). We can lose our access!
- Post a web page without proper rights for graphics, designs, logos, and photos which you use from other sources.
- Take the attitude that no one will catch you, so it won't matter if you copy software, copy someone's HTML code or whatever. Please understand that you are dealing with intellectual property--it is no different than taking someone's real property without his or her permission.
Note: many of the links on this page have been adapted from St. Andrew's Episcopal School with appreciation.