New technologies have opened up a new world of information gathering. These technologies make it easy to copy just about all forms of media.
But, just because someone can--with a click of a mouse button--download someone else's research findings or a copy of a photograph does not mean he or she has legal permission to reuse those findings or that image in his or her own work.
The same copyright laws that apply to books, songs, sound recordings, newspapers, plays, films, television programs and other creative works apply equally to work you find on the Internet or in another electronic medium. They also apply to digital copies of copyrighted material, regardless of the type of media used.
Although everyone would like simple, straightforward guidelines--well-defined instructions about how much of a copyrighted work they may use for their own purposes without infringing upon the copyright holder's rights--one set of rules does not exist.
In fact, even though statutes exist that detail the copyright laws of the United States, the meaning and application of those laws is determined and modified with each new court decision.
It is imperative that all members of the University community educate themselves about copyright laws.
In fact, every member of the University community has a responsibility to ensure copyright laws are upheld.
Every member of the University community has a responsibility to ensure copyright laws are upheld.