Big Myths about copyright explained
Myths about Copyright
I can make a copy of the cd I just bought so that I can
have one at home and in my car.
You are not allowed to reproduce copyrighted materials
in any format, including the format in which you originally
bought the copyrighted material.
Fair Use allows me to use any image I want in a password
protected online course.
This is a myth in the truest sense: it is an attempt
to explain the unexplained and there is no way to know
whether it is true or not, at least not for the time
being. It is generally believed that the same Fair Use
guidelines apply to the password protected classroom
environment that apply to the traditional classroom.
However, Fair Use is so fuzzy that this isn't much comfort.
Read More. . .
I don't really need to worry about copyright in my password
protected course because I'll never get caught.
This is a tricky one because that 'because' clause
is almost absolutely correct: it is highly unlikely
that you will ever be caught, just like it is highly
unlikely that your students will get caught when they
buy their term papers off the internet. However, the
price of getting caught can be severe. Read
More. . . .
To copyright something, I have to register with the copyright
The moment an original work is fixed in a tangible
medium of expression such as on paper or as a recording,
it enjoys copyright protection. It’s true, however,
that if you want to sue someone for copyright infringement,
you must first register the work with the copyright
If it doesn't have a copyright notice, I can copy it.
Under current law, a copyright notice isn’t
required. You should assume that if it is the kind of
work that can be copyrighted, it is copyrighted. However,
if you want to protect your own work, a copyright notice
doesn’t hurt anything.
I can use a copyrighted work as long as it’s for
While it is true that you may be able to use copyrighted
material, there are strict rules about what’s
considered a “fair use.”
I can use a copyrighted work as long as I don’t plan
to make any money on it.
Copyright law gives the owner the right to decide
who uses the work. Money has nothing to do with it.
If something is posted on the Internet, it’s in the
public domain so I can use it.
Posting things on the Internet doesn’t cause
something to fall into the public domain. Network technology
certainly makes it easier to violate copyright law by
downloading texts or images off the Internet, but it’s
still illegal unless you have permission from the copyright
owner. You should assume that if a work can be copyrighted,
it is copyrighted.