Copyright Issues

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Computer Related Copyrights

Downloading Web sites

Scenario:

You have a series of appropriate web sites to supplement a unit and want to make sure you can get at them in your afternoon class when the network slows to a crawl. You copy the web pages themselves to the university's web server for future use to make sure they are readily accessible.

Answer:

Consider Web pages copyrighted just like print materials, even if there is not notification of copyright. Downloading entire web sites on a district computer is a violation.

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Software Licenses

Scenario:

The university purchased a site license of the Geometric Presupposer for use by remedial geometry students. You want to learn to use it better and then prepare lessons using it, so you take it home and load it on your home computer. You will not be using it on the two computers at the same time.

Answer:

While some software licenses allow one copy of the software on an instructor's home computer if a purchase is on the instructor's school computer (e.g., Office) this is generally not true. You may only load as many copies as you own, even if they will not all be in use at the same time.

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Web Publishing

Scenario:

Students create multimedia reports on different countries using illustrations from books and websites and very brief musical recordings (10-15 seconds each). They carefully document all their sources. They then decide to put these reports up on the web so they can be shared with other students around the world.

Answer:

Creating these multimedia reports within a classroom could be considered fair use if limitations on the amount of each item included meets the brevity requirements of the guidelines, but once it is put up on the web without password protection to limit it to the class, it is no longer fair use as anyone can access it.

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