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Copyright   Tags: copyright, fair_use, plagiarism  

Open access information concerning copyright (and copywrongs)
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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Research Rescue

LeEtta Schmidt

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Interlibrary Loan Tampa
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Interlibrary Loan, LIB 120A
4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620
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Welcome to the USF Tampa Library Copyright LibGuide! This guide will show you information on copyright and issues pertaining to the use of copyrighted materials. However, this guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel . You are always advised to speak to the Copyright LIbrarian (813-974-4561)  or to General Counsel (813-974-2131)

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

So, now what? What does that mean to me? Can I use that article or drawing in my class, what can I post to Blackboard? Can I put that book up on Blackboard? Where do I go for answers? Hopefully this guide will be of help and point you in the right direction. And there is a contact person who can try to assist you in the quest for an answer!


News of Interest

Georgia State University copyright decision!

While the recent decision that favored GSU does not legally bind other courts or libraries, it is a major victory for Fair Use. The decision emphasized the legitimacy of the educational not-for profit mission and distinguishes libraries from for-profit coursepack printers like Kinkos. The judge also rejected that "fair use" expires after a single semester, saying posting the same materials from semester to semester was legitimate under fair use. The judge agreed that the access should be limited to enrolled students- which for USF is not an issue. While we are waiting to see if the publishers appeal, it is good to see that the judicial system is protecting Fair Use.

Streaming media decision! Big Win for Educators!

The United States District Court in California dismissed the copyright suit that Ambrose Video and the Association for Informational Media and Equipment (AIME) brought against UCLA. Ambrose Video and AIME claimed that UCLA infringed copyright when it digitized and streamed library DVDs to course management systems for educational purposes.  The case was dismissed primarily on two grounds – the plaintiffs did not hold the copyright of any of the works allegedly infringed and state sovereign immunity protected UCLA from suit in a federal court.  The court also ruled that making temporary copies to stream DVDs was a fair use and that streaming did not implicate the distribution right but only the public performance right.  UCLA had public performances licenses for the DVDs streamed to course management systems.  In addition, the use was educational because only enrolled students could access the content. While the decision may be appealed, this decision is a big help to those faculty who want to use media in their courses.


Breaking News

PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide

Posted: 11 Jan 2012 07:00 AM PST

From the ALA Washington Office District Dispatch Blog:

The last month or so has seen a flurry of anti-piracy, online infringing, copyright-related bills.  The latest newcomer is the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act or OPEN Act (S. 2029).  Introduced on December 17, 2011 by Sen. Wyden (D-OR), along with Senators Moran (R-KS) and Cantwell (D-WA), the OPEN Act is being heralded as a more palatable alternative to existing anti-piracy bills – The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA (S. 968), and The Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA (H.R. 3261). 

All three bills take aim at any website beyond U.S. borders that distribute counterfeit or copyright infringing products.   To capture how all three bills compare and contrast, I’ve constructed the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide (pdf).  Not meant to be comprehensive (it would be pages and pages), nor too legalese (I’m a librarian, not a lawyer – although I did consult our legal consultant), the chart helps depict the nuanced and not-so-nuanced differences among the bills.

What you’ll see (hopefully at a glance), is unlike PIPA or SOPA, the OPEN Act focuses solely on curbing online infringement by cutting off websites’ payment processing and ad networks. In contrast, PIPA and SOPA go further in that they also incentivize internet companies to cut off access to websites.  The tactics the latter two bills employ have a potential chilling effect on 1st Amendment free speech rights and intellectual freedom, as well as weaken cyber security, and threaten privacy.
Also, the guide captures the status of the bills as of today, January 10.  It is worth noting that the bills are in the midst of the legislative process – the U.S. House Judiciary committee will resume markup of SOPA on January 17th and the U.S. Senate has scheduled a cloture vote on PIPA for January 24th.  In addition, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Issa (R-Calif.) announced a hearing has been scheduled for January 18th on the potential impact of Domain Name Service (DNS) and search engine blocking.
The ALA will continue to voice strong opposition to PIPA and SOPA, while further analysis of the OPEN Act is needed.
Corey Williams
Associate Director, Office of Government Relations
American Library Association

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Copyright Office

U.S. Copyright Office

Direct link to the US Copyright office where the law can be found, along with forms for registering copyright and other useful information.


Featured Presentations

The first presentation was created in the 2013 Summer session for the Intellectual Property and Copyright workshop sponsored by the USF Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATLE) and presented by Drew Smith, MLS.  It covers the basics of copyright as it applies to teaching and publication. 

The second presentation was created for the Graduate Dissertation Forum held at the USF Tampa Library on June 16-17, 2011. The copyright session was prepared to assist graduate students with their dissertations and copyright issues about which they may have questions.  While the presentation covers many issues, not everything can be answered in this presentation. Questions can be directed to Merilyn Burke at or by phone at 813-974-4561.

Copyright Clearance Center

The University of South Florida has acquired the Annual Copyright License for Academic Institutions through the Copyright Clearance Center. The Annual Copyright License enables USF faculty, staff, and students to reproduce and distribute specific copyrighted content that falls under this license, in both print and digital form, across campus and via email, with the confidence that sharing of this content is being done within copyright laws and USF guidelines. Administered by the USF Libraries and made possible through USF Student Technology Fees, USF will be covered under a three year license until 2014. The license includes all USF campuses and for those studying abroad and in distance education programs

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