1.         What is copyright?


Copyright is protection given by law to the owners of "original works of authorship."  Only the copyright owner has the right to authorize reproductions, derivative works, distributions, performances, or displays of a work.  Except for a few special purposes explained in the law, it is illegal for anyone to use copyrighted property without the owner's permission.


2.         What materials are subject to copyright?


Literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works are copyrightable, as are works of art, photography, and sculpture.  Audiovisual works (movies, videotapes, etc.) and sound recordings are also included.  Computer programs are specifically included by statute after 1980.


Since an element of creative expression and original authorship is required, some items, in and of themselves, are not copy- rightable.  Examples include ideas, methods, titles, names, short slogans, mere listing of ingredients, standard calendar data, rulers, and statistical information available from public sources.


Both published and unpublished works may be protected.  The copyright may be lost by failing to affix the required notice upon publication or through the expiration of the term of years prescribed for the duration of the copyright.  The work is then said to be in the public domain and can be used without permission.


3.   What is the duration of a copyright?


Under the new S. 505 Copyright Term Extension Act, duration has been extended to the life of the author, plus 70 years, or 95 years for a work of ‘corporate authorship.’  Works already under copyright will be protected for an additional 20 years from the date copyright was originally due to expire.


4.   How can I tell if a work is copyrighted or not?


Published works should bear a notice, for example, © 1959 by John Doe, which certified that the work is copyrighted.  (For sound recordings the symbol should be a  instead of a © .  However, the lack of a notice is not conclusive proof that the work is out of copyright because the omission could be due to partial, careless, or unauthorized copying, or even to an honest mistake by the original publisher.  Nevertheless, if a careful examination of a complete work (not just a page or a selection) does not reveal a copyright notice, it is safe to assume that the work, as a whole, is not protected.  It is still possible that individual poems, photographs, or paintings appearing in the work could have been copyrighted separately.


Because the duration of many older copyrights has been extended, it is possible that anything bearing a copyright date going back as far as seventy-five years could still be protected.  The only safe course for a prospective user is to assume that such an item is protected, unless he has reliable evidence that the copyright has expired.  The fact that a publication is out of print does not nullify its copyright or justify its use without permission.


Unpublished works are protected automatically, with or without a notice, "from the moment of creation."  Most unpublished works that were not yet in the public domain as of January 1978 are guaranteed protection until at least the year 2003.


5.         What is "fair use"?  How do I know whether or not a particular usage is permissible?


First of all, let's stress this essential point:  It is all right to do anything you want to do with copyrighted materials provided that you first get the owner's permission!  When in doubt, ask.  But allow at least six to eight weeks for a response.


The law does allow limited use of copyrighted works without permission in some situations.  Section 107 of the new law allows usage without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research.  In determining whether such a use is permissible, four factors are to be considered:


a. The purpose of the use, including whether such use is noncommercial or is for nonprofit educational purposes

b. The nature of the copyrighted work

c. Whether the intended use is an insignificant part of the copyrighted work as a whole

d. Whether there is an adverse effect on the market for, or value of the copyrighted work


Extreme care should be exercised in claiming fair use for poetry and music because a very small portion may embody a great "substantiality" of the work.  Permission is necessary before using any complete short story, poem, or song.


An important condition in exercising fair use is that the pertinent copyright notice must be reproduced on each copy made.  For example:


            From Ethnomusicology, Winter 1988.  Copyright  ©  1988 by the Society for Ethnomusicology Inc.


The fact that a publication is out of print or that a copyright owner is difficult to locate does not justify infringement.  Library research and good old-fashioned detective work may be necessary.  For a modest fee, the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. will conduct a search of their records, but allow a few weeks for response.



                               GUIDELINES FOR EDUCATIONAL USES OF MUSIC


     The purpose of the following guidelines is to state the minimum and not the maximum standards of educational fair use under Section 107 of HR2223.  The parties agree that the conditions determining the extent of permissible copying for educational purposes may change in the future; that certain types of copying permitted under these guidelines may not be permissible in the future, and conversely that in the future other types of copying not permitted under these guidelines may be permissible under revised guidelines.


     Moreover, the following statement of guidelines is not intended to limit the types of copying permitted under the standards of fair use under judicial decision and which are stated in Section 107 of the Copyright Revision Bill.  There may be instances in which copying which does not fall within the guidelines stated below may nonetheless be permitted under the criteria of fair use.


A.  Permissible Uses


     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. a. For academic purposes other than performance, 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%) of the whole work.  The number of copies shall not exceed one copy per pupil.


        b. For academic purposes other than performance, a single copy of an entire performable unit (section, movement, aria, etc.) that is, (1) confirmed by the copyright proprietor to be out of print or (2) unavailable except in a larger work, may be made by or for a teacher solely for the purpose of his or her scholarly research or in preparation to teach a class.


     3.  Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics added if none exist.


     4.  A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher.


     5.  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 by the educational institution or individual teacher.  (This pertains only to the copyright of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound recording.)


B.  Prohibitions


1.  Copying to create or replace or substitute for anthologies, compilations, or collective works.


2.  Copying of or from works intended to be "consumable" in the course of study or of teaching such as workbooks, exercises, standardized tests and answer sheets and like material.


3.  Copying for the purpose of performance, except as in A(1) above.


4.  Copying for the purpose of substituting for the purchase of music, except as in A(1) and A(2) above,


5.  Copying without inclusion of the copyright notice which appears on the printed copy.






Here are some of the implications of Congressional guidelines on permissible photocopying of copyrighted works.




NOT make multiple copies of a work for classroom use if it has already been copied for another class in the same institution.


NOT make multiple copies of a short poem, story, or essay from the same author more than once in a class term, or make multiple copies from the same collective work or periodical issue more than three times a term.


NOT make multiple copies of works more than nine times in the same class term.


NOT make a copy of works to take the place of an anthology.


NOT make a copy of "consumable" materials, such as workbooks.





Make a single copy, for use in scholarly research, or in teaching, or in preparation for teaching a class, of the following:


* a chapter from a book.

* an article from a periodical or newspaper.

* a short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collected work.

* a chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.


Make multiple copies for classroom use only, and not to exceed one per student in a class, of the following,


* a complete poem, if it is less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages.

* an excerpt from a longer poem, if it is less than 250 words.

* an excerpt from a prose work, if it is less than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less.

* one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical.





For interlibrary loan purposes, a library may:


* make up to six copies a year of a periodical published within the last five years.

* make copies of unpublished works for purposes of preservation and security.

* make copies of published works for purposes of replacement of damaged copies.

* make up to six copies a year of small excerpts from longer works.

* make copies of out-of-print works that cannot be obtained at a fair price.

* make digital copies for preservation purposes, as long as those copies are used “on the premises” of the library.


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