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Copyright Guidelines for Television

This copyright site is intended to bring clarification of copyright laws, and the rights to use copyrighted materials, to Washburn University faculty and staff. It is an overview of the licensing practices and copyright laws and issues relating to education.

As in the quiz, each situation must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The quiz and this site should give faculty/staff the ability to make those evaluations with regard to copyright laws.

The following will provide you with a basic framework to apply copyright law and Fair Use as it pertains to television.

Rules of Thumb

  • Off-air recordings can be recorded, but may only be used within the first ten
  • consecutive school days after the recording is made.
  • Off-air recordings must be destroyed within 45 days after the recording is made
  • unless copyright permission is obtained.
  • Off-air recordings may not be altered.
  • All recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast programs.
  • Recordings of satellite television programs must have appropriate license or have
  • authorization for free reception.

Take a Copyright Quiz!

In this quiz you will be asked a series of 5 True or False questions.

Copyright Quiz on Television

Additional Resources

I Saw It on TV: A guide to broadcast and cable programming sources 

SONY - SONY Pictures and CBS

Time Warner - HBO, CNN, WB, Warner Music, Turner Broadcasting, & Time

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Washburn University School Of Law

Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509,

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