Copyright InformationAccording to the U.S. Copyright Office publication Copyright Basics, “copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.” Students and employees must comply with these copyright laws, as well as with the VSC Copyright Policy (416). Watch this video from the Copyright Clearance Center to learn the basics about copyright in the electronic environment.
Fair UseFair Use is a part of copyright law (section 107 of U.S. Code Title 17) that allows exceptions to copyright law for the needs of students and teachers. Fair Use is a set of guidelines; there are no explicit rules or exact numbers. The factors to be considered in determining fair use can be remembered using the acronym PANE:
- Purpose — What is the purpose for which you are using the work? You have a stronger Fair Use case if you are using it for criticism, commentary, teaching, scholarship, or research than for entertainment or decorative purposes.
- Amount — How much of the work are you using? There’s no specific percentage rule, but you need to consider the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the whole. You have a stronger Fair Use case if you are copying only as much as necessary for your purpose and are not using “the heart of the work.”
- Nature — What is the nature of the copyrighted material? Published works and factual works are more likely to fit with Fair Use than unpublished works or creative works.
- Economic Impact (or Effect) — Will your use of the material deprive the author of creator of revenue or profits? The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the copyright material is a major consideration for Fair Use.