Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. Copyrightable works include the following categories:
These are broad categories. For instance, "literary works" can include computer code and programs.
Works in the Public Domain (documents created before 1922, created for public use, or once copyrighted but have fallen into the public domain because their copyright expired)
Ideas (procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries)
Works not fixed in a tangible form (choreographic works that have not been noted or recorded, improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded)
Familiar symbols or designs
Listings of ingredients or contents
Copyright protection ensures that creators are paid for the product of their work. Copyright is important because it encourages and rewards creative work; it stimulates the development of new knowledge and ensures the distribution of that knowledge.
As a creator of copyrighted work, you too have rights. The copyright owner retains the rights to:
The following is taken from the United States Copyright Act, Section 106. Exclusive Rights in Copyrighted Works:
Subject to sections 107 through 120, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
If you have reason to suspect that someone on the Washburn University Web site is using your work without permission, please contact our DMCA representative. Visit WU's DMCA Home Page for more information.
When trying to obtain permission to use a copyrighted work, first check with the holder of the copyright (i.e. the publisher, magazine, distributor). If the copyright holder is not readily apparent, or if contact information is not available, one might try contacting a clearance house such as the Copyright Clearance Center.
Works in the Public Domain are documents created before 1922, created for public use, or once copyrighted but have fallen into the public domain because their copyright expired. This includes most government and military documents, including information available on .gov and .mil Web sites, unless specified otherwise.
Section 107 of the Copyright code (commonly called Fair Use) limits the rights of the author, allowing parts of a copyrighted work to be used without requesting permission.
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include --
Such circumstances are limited to criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. Nevertheless, Fair Use is NOT carte blanche to use any amount of a copyrighted work for any amount of time just because it is "for educational purposes." The government has very strict guidelines on how much can be copied and used in the classroom and for how long.
For more information, see the Washburn University Faculty Handbook Appendix VII: Agreement on Guidelines for Classroom Copying.
The penalties for copyright infringement are very harsh. Civil and/or criminal penalties may be imposed. You may be required to pay actual and statutory damages in addition to court costs and attorney's fees. Statutory damages a court may award range from $750 to $30,000. Copyright infringement involving the duplication of more than 10 copies having a total retail value of more than $2,500 is a felony. Criminal penalties may include a fine of $150,000 for each separate act and a jail sentence of 5 years. Copyright owners have sued and will probably continue to sue individuals as well as institutions. The University may or may not support you in your lawsuit.