MMCC Copyright Policies

Why Care About Copyrights?

In recent years there has been a lot of Because it's easy to break them. So easy, in fact, many of us are guilty of minor copyright
infringement without being aware of it. Today's technology makes it convenient and easy to ignore copyrights, particularly when we are under a deadline and need that information, movie or song right now!

regulations and legislation put in place to prevent and punish any copyright infringement, intentional or otherwise. So it is necessary that you be aware of just what is allowed, and what could result in huge fines and even jail time.


For Students

Free Alternatives

Downloading music, videos and other information is quick and easy, and even more awesome when it's free. But the catch is, there are legal and illegal ways to download. Check out the following links for ways to find free music, movies, and downloads:

In addition to the ones listed below, check out Finding Media for Your Story



Subscription Alternatives

Get even more access to legal music, videos and downloads by using subscription alternatives. Many have a free trial, so you can try before you buy.


Getting Permission

If an exception is not available for an intended use of a copyrighted work, exception must be obtained from the owner of the copyright holder. A request can typically be sent to the permission department of the publisher of the work. It can take between four to six weeks for the request to be processed.

Check with the Copyright Clearance Center to see if you can get instant permission.


Getting Your Own Copyright

As soon as they are created, all works are protected by statutory copyright. However, it is wise to register any and all work and creations that qualify for a copyright.

Go to the US Copyright Office website for more information and to obtain the necessary forms.


For Faculty and Staff

How to Tell if Something is Copyrighted

Assume everything is copyrighted. Any work that can be defined as a tangible medium of expression, including books, articles, movies, videos, songs, etc, is considered to be copyright protected at the moment of creation. Works do not need to be registered, or even published, to have a copyright.


Public Domain

While you should assume all works are under copyright protection, depending on their age they may fall under the Public Domain exception and can be used freely. Once a copyright expires the work falls into public domain. Any work published before 1923 are considered public domain. Works published between 1923 and 1978 will be copyright protected for 95 years after the original publication date, longer if the owner renews the copyright. Any work published after 1978 typically have a copyright for the duration of the author’s life plus an additional 70 years. Certain classes of work, including works published by the United States federal government, also fall under public domain. Public domain works are widely available on the internet.


Fair Use

The Fair Use Doctrine, embedded in Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allows for limited educational and research use of copyrighted materials without express permission from the owners. Each proposed use must be analyzed under a four-part test as described below:

1. What is the purpose of copying the specific work?
Educational, nonprofit and personal use is favored for fair use, while copies made with the intent to make a profit are not.

2. What is the nature of the work to be used?
Use of a work that is more fact based falls more in line with fair use than an imaginative work.

3. What is the amount and substantiality of the portion to be used?
It is prohibited to copy large portions of original copyrighted texts; only 5% of the original material is allowed for fair use.

4. Will the use negatively affect the value of the copyrighted material?
It is unethical and prohibited to copy the core creative purpose of a copyrighted work, which would be considered detrimental to the market value – an example of this would be copying and distributing the solution of a murder mystery novel.

Good Faith Fair Use Defense
If a copyright infringement occurs, a court may refuse to award damages if the person accused reasonably believed that the use was fair.


Requesting Permission

If an exception is not available for an intended use of a copyrighted work, exception must be obtained from the owner of the copyright holder. A request can typically be sent to the permission department of the publisher of the work. It can take between four to six weeks for the request to be processed.

Check with the Copyright Clearance Center to see if you can get instant permission.


Getting Your Own Copyright

As soon as they are created, all works are protected by statutory copyright. However, it is wise to register any and all work and creations that qualify for a copyright.

Go to the US Copyright Office website for more information and to obtain the necessary forms.

 
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