Multimedia Use

Fair Use is media neutral and must be applied to any copyrighted material that you wish to use. Some forms of multimedia can only be used in their entirety (e.g., photos or images); however, permission must be obtained unless explicitly granted by the copyright holder.

See the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

File-Sharing = Stealing

See IT Policies for network/computer/email use.

Internet Materials

Assume that most materials on the Internet are copyrighted, including emails. Once an expression is in a tangible medium, including a computer file, it is protected.

When working on the Internet, keep in mind:

  • Include a copyright notice on materials you author and post.
    Unless your work is subject to contractual restrictions, the university encourages you to grant permission to copy for nonprofit education or research purposes, so long as you are credited.
  • Look for a copyright notice on other materials.
  • Do not copy, download, scan, digitize, or forward materials without explicit written consent of the copyright owner, unless:
    • Permission to use the materials is explicitly stated
    • It falls within Fair Use or one of the other limitations on the rights of copyright owners
    • It is subject to a license
  • Do not re-post material on your own website without permission. Link to the source material instead.


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:

  • Previously published materials
  • If using something you wrote, you still must get permission if you signed the copyright over to a publisher.
  • Audio of another person’s voice
  • A performance of someone else’s music


There are five types of software:

Commercial software is the most common form of copyrighted software. Conditions and restrictions of purchase will vary. If creation of back-up copies is permitted, make no more than one copy. Do not make copies of software documentation.

Shareware is copyrighted. In general, shareware allows users to make and distribute copies. After initial evaluation, users generally must purchase the shareware in order to be used.

Freeware is copyrighted. In general, freeware software stipulates that copies may be made for nonprofit distribution. Freeware can generally be redistributed but not modified.

Open source 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.

Public domain software is not copyrighted and can be freely modified, copied, and distributed. The copyright holder must explicitly relinquish all rights to the software and must mark the product as public domain.