Office of Information Technology
Copyright is available for any original work of authorship as soon as that work is fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
There are eight categories of "works of authorship":
Copyright is NOT available for ideas, procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation, concepts principles, or discoveries. Expressions of such items are copyrightable, but the copyright does not cover the underlying idea, etc....
A copyright holder has the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following:
If an individual performs any one of these tasks without the permission of the copyright holder, she has infringed. Lack of intent is irrelevant.
Reference and excellent resource: Copyright Office web page
What, in the computer world, is copyrightable:
Failure to comply with any term or condition of the license agreement amounts to a breach of the license that subjects the user/provider to copyright and other legal liability. It is important to realize that the terms of license agreements may vary dramatically from vendor to vendor.
Automated databases are, most commonly, controlled by subscriber agreements that detail the legitimate and illegitimate uses of the database systems and the data available through such systems. Generally, the agreement merely grants a license to access the system and the datacontained therein with restrictions such as:
Failure to comply with any term or condition of the user agreement amounts to a breach of the agreement that subjects the user/provider to copyright and other legal liability. It is important to realize that the terms of agreements may vary dramatically from vendor to vendor.
The internet has greatly expanded the ability for authors to both create and disseminate copyrighted works. It has also made it far easier to copy and distribute the work of another. Copyrights exist on the internet just as they exist in the traditional copyright media.
Obvious methods of infringing a copyrighted work published on the World Wide Web include:
Apart from the obvious, the internet affords new forms of activity that were not foreseen and are not clearly covered by intellectual property laws. For example, the linking of another web site to your web site without permission and merely viewing copyrighted works in RAM only may, under certain circumstances, amount to copyright infringement.
The best advice: if you intend to use a work of authorship that is not original to you, regardless of source or format, and it is not perfectly clear the work is not copyrighted, then assume it is.
Under the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the University is considered to be an online service provider. As to its role as an online service provider, users should be aware that the (DMCA) creates limitations on liability and special requirements for the University. Individual users do not escape copyright liability under these provisions.
The limitations for copyright liability relate to conduct of a service provider that falls into one of the following four categories:
The DMCA does not place any duty on a service provider to monitor its service or access any material in violation of the law. However, a service provider must, once properly notified of a claimed infringement, take down or block access to the material in question. Furthermore, a service provider is required to put the material back up within 10-14 business days of receipt of a proper counter notification by the user against whom the original complaint was filed, unless the copyright owner files an action in court against the user.
Valparaiso University has designated the Chief Information Officer of the Office of Information Technology as the University agent for purposes of receiving notifications of claimed copyright infringement, and has filed this designation with the U.S. Copyright Office.
This is by no means a complete reporting of intellectual property laws as they apply to computers and technology or the application of these laws to the educational community. This brief explanation is provided simply to alert users of University electronic systems that they must remain vigilant in their use of these resources to respect copyrights and other rights of authors whose works are a part of or may be accessed through electronic means.