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Digital Copyright

Computer Software Usage 
There are various types of restrictions on the copying and use of software. Software may be copyrighted as a single copy, site license, shareware, or public domain:

Single copy: Software may be used on one single machine at a time. Some software is restricted to be used on one specific machine.

Site license: Software is purchased under an agreement that allows a specific number of copies to be made of the software. The restrictions on the copying of software sold under a site license agreement should be understood before copying.

Shareware: User-supported software that is copyrighted but the developer encourages individuals to make copies and distribute to others. The developer generally asks for a small donation or registration fee if the user plans to use the software.

Public domain: Software that is not subject to any copyright restrictions and may be copied and shared freely.

The following statement is taken from the EDUCOM Code on software and intellectual rights: Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to works of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution. Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Web Site Copyright Information

Downloading information from a Web site is considered to be the same as making a copy. Therefore, the same rules apply.

Do not use logos or trademarks on a web page without permission. Instead, use words and point to the appropriate URL.

There are no copyright restrictions for adding links to outside Web pages.

Film & Video Recordings

Classroom use
Copyrighted audiovisual works include both digital and traditional film and video formats. Purchasing a film or video does not constitute a right to show the work. However, section 110 (1) of the Copyright Act of 1976 created a "face-to-face" exception that allows an educator to perform a work (including home use video) in class, if:

- it is a part of the instructional program.
- the relationship between the film or video and the course is explicit.
- it is not shown for entertainment or recreational purposes, without the copyright holder's permission, whatever the work's intellectual content.
- only instructors, guest lecturers, or students show it.
- it is only shown to students and educators.
- there is a legitimate copy with the copyright notice included.
- it is shown either in a classroom or other school location devoted to instruction such as a studio, workshop, library, gymnasium, or auditorium if it is used for instruction.
- it is shown in a face-to-face setting or where students and teacher(s) are in the same building or general area.


Use outside the classroom
If there are only a few people gathered to view a video/film or listen to a recording, it is permissible to view/listen to copyrighted material without permission. However, larger audience, must have explicit permission from the copyright owner for "public performance" rights. No fees for viewing a video are permitted even when public performance rights are obtained.

Copying/Recording Videos 
It is not legal to copy videotapes or DVDs without the copyright owner's permission. An exception is made for libraries to replace a work that is lost or damaged if another copy cannot be obtained at a fair price.

Fair Use in Recording
Recordings of performances of copyrighted material are very limited within "fair use" parameters. The limitations include:

  • a single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassette) of copyrighted music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and may be retained bye the educational institution or individual teacher.
  • a single copy of recordings of performance by students may be made for evaluation and rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.
Printed Music & Performances

The printed music sold to the general public is the result of the collaboration of a number of people, including the time and creative effort of the composer, the investment of time and money by the publisher, and local music retailers who supply the music. Copying or printing music without permission is stealing from each of these individuals.

Photocopying Printed Music
There are two instances where photocopying music can fall under "fair use." They are:

1) Emergency copying to replace purchased copies which for any reason are not available for an imminent performance, provided purchased replacement copies shall be substituted in due course.
2) For academic purposes other than performance, single or multiple copies of excerpts of works may be made, provided that the excerpts do not comprise a part of the whole which would constitute a performable unit such as a section, movement, or aria, but in no case more than 10 percent of the whole work. The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.

Under Fair Use, the following are expressly prohibited:

- Copying to create or replace or substitute the anthologies, compilations or collective works.
- Copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.
- Copying for the purpose of performance except for emergency copying to replace purchased copies as outlined in (1) of the Fair Uses.
- Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as in Fair Uses (1) and (2).
- Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.

Additional Information About Music Copyright

- See the Wartburg College Music Department Handbook
Music Library Association
Music Publishers Association

If you know of a school, church, etc. where illegal photocopying goes on, take a stand, send all information to: Music Publishers Association, 130 West 37th St. NY, NY 10019, who will refer it to legal counsel for further evaluation and investigation.

Visual Images

Works may be reproduced in the public domain without restriction. Works created before 1923 or published without a copyright notice from 1923 - 1977 are in the public domain. Works 1989 - present, may be under copyright whether or not a copyright symbol is present; no copyright symbol has been required since 1989.

Place the copyright symbol, name, and date on each copy of all duplicated images. Duplication from a collection of images is permissible as long as the number of images is so small that it will not diminish the intrinsic value of the original collection. It is also permissible if "thumbnail-sized" images are used as a reference or mnemonic tool.

Do not use images without compensation for any sizable archive that someone else has collected with considerable expenditure of time, energy, and money.

Do not acquire images that are free or inexpensive, and then charge an unreasonable amount for their use.

Clip art is sold to be copied. However, note any restrictions, especially concerning using images on the Internet.

Scanning Photos and Slides

Whenever possible, images must be purchased or licensed to be granted permission for use. If these options are not possible, then it is possible to digitize images in an educational setting if:

  • only enrolled student in the class have access to the images.
  • the image is used at a conference.
  • used for a course assignment or other requirement for a degree. Such works can be kept for portfolio display.

You should purchase, license at a fair price, or point to an image if it should again become available in the future.