In 1989, the U.S. enacted the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention. As a result, the use of copyright notices has become optional to claim copyright, because the Berne Convention makes copyright automatic. Several exclusive rights typically attach to the holder of a copyright:
- to produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies (including, typically, electronic copies)
- to import or export the work
- to create derivative works (works that adapt the original work)
- to perform or display the work publicly
- to sell or assign these rights to others
- to transmit or display by radio or video
Creative Commons is the most common alternative copyright (http://creativecommons.org/) GNU GPL (GNU General Public License) is mostly for software (http://gnu.org). Copyleft is a general method for making a program (or other work) free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well. (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/copyleft.html).
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. (Wikipedia) To determine whether the use of a copyright item qualifies for use without permission of the copyright holder, use the four-factor balancing test:
- 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 in 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.
DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) contains provisions forbidding circumvention of digital protections and protecting copyright management information.
The TEACH (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization) Act amends sections 110(2) and 112(f) of the U.S. Copyright Act. The TEACH Act facilitates and enables the performance and display of copyrighted materials for distance education by accredited, non-profit educational institutions. The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution. The use must be part of mediated instructional activities. The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class. The use must either be for ‘live’ or asynchronous class sessions. The use must not include the transmission of textbook materials, materials “typically purchased or acquired
by students,” or works developed specifically for online uses. Only “reasonable and limited portions,” such as might be performed or displayed during a typical live classroom session, may be used. The institution must have developed and publicized its copyright policies, specifically informing students that course content may be covered by copyright, and include a notice of copyright on the online materials. The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and
location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.
U.S. Copyright Fair Use http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html
One of the best resources for information about copyright and fair use for teachers is by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). They have a wonderful page specifically for using copyrighted material in an academic setting. The site is called Know Your Copy Rights.