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Last Updated: May 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Copyright & Fair Use Print Page

Understanding Copyright

Pingry's Mission states that our students "strive for academic and personal excellence within an ethical framework that places the highest value on honor and respect for others."  Our Honor Code is how we live out the mission of this school.  With that in mind, respecting the intellectual property of others should always be viewed as a desired outcome of a Pingry education.

Understanding copyright is a difficult task.  This guide is intended to help you develop a better understanding of copyright and what your responsibilities are when using the creative works of others.

Stephen Nichols 

Copyright provides protection for the owners of creative works, granting exclusive rights on how those works may be used by others.  The U. S. Constitution establishes this right in Article I, Section 8: 

"The Congress shall have Power ... "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Title 17 of the U. S. Code defines the laws of the United States in regard to copyright.


Rights of Copyright Holders

File:Copyright symbol 9.gif

Section 106 of the Copyright Act defines these rights:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.


Recent Legislation on Copyright

Digital Millenium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998,..."updated U.S. copyright law to meet the demands of the Digital Age and to conform U.S. law to the requirements of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and treaties that the U.S. signed in 1996."  (ALA, DMCA: the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, Online)

This summary from the Copyright Clearance Center explains the essential points of the TEACH Act, which establishes guidelines for using digital resources in the online classroom environment.  Classroom management systems, like Moodle, are covered by provisions of this law. 

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright

Link to the Library of Congress to view this video!


What is Protected

A work is protected when it has been presented in some "tangible medium of expression"
(Section 102, Copyright Act) and includes:

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings;

(8) architectural works

File:Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg    Thumbnail for version as of 09:34, 2 October 2012


U. S. Copyright Office


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