Posted by: rmostell | June 29, 2008

Copyright, Copy Cat, Copy What?

Over the past 10 years I’ve come to recognize that most faculty and students in my institution have very little understanding or appreciation for the principles of the U.S. copyright law and the “fair use” exception for educational purposes. Many think it is sufficient to simply give credit to the source of information (a citation) regardless of the extent or purpose or manner in which copyright protected materials are copied and disseminated to others. My institution has a policy that basically tells the “Members of the University community” to follow the copyright laws.

Intellectual Property Policy Section 2.4(c) Copying of the Works Owned by Others

On numerous occasions, I’ve tried to ask the university administration (past and present) to provide more specific guidance to the faculty and students about how to interpret and apply the U.S. copyright law and the “fair use” exception in the academic environment. Thus far, I have been unsuccessful.

Many other academic institutions have publicly displayed their opinions about this issue and shared them widely. I have read many of these documents as well as other resources available on the internet. As a service to my colleagues at USC and the broader community, I have provided numerous links to relevant documents on this topic in the academic and non-academic arenas. Hopefully you’ll find the answers to your questions in these online resources.



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