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Copyright and Intellectual Property

Intended use and exemptions

If you intend to reproduce and/or modify a copyrighted work, whether in whole or part, and distribute, perform, or display that work through any medium, you must take into consideration copyright law. Types of reproduction include (but are not limited to) photocopying, photographing, and re-recording. Types of modification include incorporating the copyrighted work into a new work, or preparing a derivative work based on the original. Derivation transforms the work from its original tangible form of expression, such as adapting a novel to film, producing a translation, or rearranging a musical score.

Fair Use is an exemption that allows the reproduction of a work without infringing on the rights of the copyright owner. Section 107 of the Copyright Act permits reproduction without requiring permission when used "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research." Fair Use has specific guidelines based on the purpose and type of use, the nature of the work, the amount of the work being used as relates to the whole, and the effect the use may have on the potential market or value of the work.

The TEACH Act is an exemption that allows the display and performance of nondramatic copyrighted works for the purpose of online distance education. The TEACH Act encompasses specific provisions on what may be used and how much of the work may be displayed or performed. However, its scope is limited to use of works in mediated instructional activities, and it does not cover the reproduction of materials for online distribution or posting.

We also encourage you to review information regarding the CASE Act. This recent legislation involves changes in how copyright infringement cases are handled.