Students use multimedia for entertainment as well as for academics; this page is devoted primarily to the latter (Also see, “File Sharing”). Students frequently use multimedia, such as photos, images, graphs and video clips, for course assignments. It’s crucial to remember that fair use is media neutral and must be applied to any copyrighted material that you wish to use. In addition, some forms of multimedia can only be used in their entirety (e.g., photos or images); in such cases, permission must be obtained unless explicitly granted by the copyright holder (See, “Obtaining Permission”).
The majority of multimedia works are found and obtained through the Internet. While new technologies may facilitate the easy placement online and instantaneous dissemination of text, images, and sounds, they do not nullify copyright protection. You should assume that most of the materials on the Internet are copyrighted, including electronic mail messages. Once an expression is committed to a tangible medium, including a computer file, it is protected. No notice is required. So unless a work is in the public domain or the copyright owner allows further reproduction, unauthorized copying in excess of fair use or other lawful exceptions is prohibited.
When working on the Internet keep in mind:
When creating and posting a podcast, all traditional copyright laws apply and should be followed. If use of the podcast is restricted to students in a class, fair use policies apply.
If creating a podcast with all original materials, the creator owns the copyright.
All necessary rights and permissions must be secured if creating a podcast with:
There are five types of software: commercial, shareware, freeware, open source, and public domain.
Commercial software is the most common form of copyrighted software. When you purchase commercial software, you purchase a specific number of licenses to use the software. The conditions and restrictions of purchase will vary, so read the purchase agreement carefully. Distributing commercial software in excess of a license agreement is illegal. Increasingly, commercial software comes with a shrink-wrap license and a prohibition against breaking the technological barriers to re-use that have been incorporated into the software. According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, it is illegal to circumvent those barriers.
If creation of back-up copies is permitted, make no more than one copy for archival purposes. This back-up copy is for use only if the original is damaged. The back-up should be erased or discarded when possession of the original ceases. You should not, however, make copies of software documentation, because most licensing agreements do not allow it, and the Copyright Act would allow only archival copies of the software itself. Make only those modifications to the software permitted by the license agreement.
Shareware is copyrighted. In general, shareware allows users to make and distribute copies. After initial evaluation, users generally must purchase the shareware if they wish to retain it.
Freeware is copyrighted. In general, freeware software stipulates that copies may be made for not-for-profit distribution. Freeware even allows for modification, provided it is not then sold as commercial or shareware software. Freeware can generally be redistributed but not modified.
Open source software has become more common in recent years. The software's source code is copyrighted by one or more persons/entities and distributed under an open-source license such as the GNU General Public License or Berkeley Software Distribution. Such a license may require that the source code be distributed along with the software, and that the source code be freely modifiable, with at most minor restrictions, such as a requirement to preserve the authors' names and copyright statement in the code.
Public domain software is not copyrighted. The copyright holder of public domain software must explicitly relinquish all rights to the software and must mark the product as public domain. Public domain software can be freely copied, modified and distributed.
Note: For information on use of Liberty University licensed software, see “Information Technology Policy.”
“Clearing Rights for Multimedia Works,” University of Texas System.