is a good thing: it protects one's creative work. If someone violates
another's copyright, it is called "copyright infringement."
1976 the copyright law in the U.S. was substantially expanded. These
laws affect everyone. Students especially need to be aware of copyright
laws, since they are often using and incorporating the work of others
into their own work. At the very least, everyone should be familiar
with the following:
"Copyrightable works include the
What is protected by copyright?
musical works, including any accompanying words
dramatic works, including any accompanying music
pantomimes and choreographic works
pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
motion pictures and other audiovisual works
is not protected by copyright?"
"Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans;
familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic
ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or
"Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes,
concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a
description, explanation, or illustration."
"Works consisting entirely of information that is
common property and containing no original authorship (for example:
standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers,
and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common
How may one use
material may be used according to what is called, "fair use." One
may use copyrighted
material, keeping in mind the following:
- "the purpose and character of the use,
including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for
nonprofit educational purposes;
- the nature of the copyrighted work;
- the amount and substantiality of the portion used
relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- the effect of the use upon the potential market for
or value of the copyrighted work."
of Information Media and Equipment
U.S. Copyright Office
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