Take a crash course in U.S. copyright law with Jim T. Librarian, as he explains how to share copyrighted material at work while still respecting the rights of content creators.
This video was produced by Copyright Clearance Center. For more information, visit www.copyright.com.
Tags: Copyright Basics copyright basics video copyright copyright video copyright education copyright clearance center content information video about copyright
Added: 2 years ago
[scene opens with a female employee clicking an email from Jim the Librarian ("You can finally learn about Copyright ... at your desk! Sincerely, Jim"), when she notices the man himself (black hair, glasses, sweater) walking past her office]
JILL: Hey Jim, thanks for that report you gave me the other day. My client loved it.
JIM: You gave it to your client?
[he breathes a sigh of relief]
JIM: Oh ...
JILL: I made a copy for him.
JIM: We have a limited subscription to those reports. You can't copy them or distribute them without permission.
JIM: Yeah ... Geez, next thing I know, you'll be posting stuff like that to the web and emailing it all over the place!
JILL: We're not supposed to do that, either?
JIM: No. Intellectual property, like published reports, articles, and content you find on the web, has to be managed carefully. We have to balance its use with our rights, licenses, and copyright requirements.
JILL: I know. I read our copyright policy when I joined the company.
JIM: Good! That's a start, but it really comes down to what we do on a daily basis ... If you have a few minutes, I can explain the basics of copyright to you.
JILL: Ooookay ...
[he suddenly begins to talk very quickly, as his words appear on the screen in elaborate fonts]
JIM: Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the 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 ...
[cut to Jill, who gives him a blank stare]
JIM: It means that, in the United States, the copyright holder has some exclusive rights to his or her work, and those rights are protected by U.S. copyright law.
JILL: Oh, I always thought "no copyright symbol, no problem" ...
JIM: Nope, copyright is automatic. As soon as something is captured in a fixed format, such as being written down or recorded, it is protected by copyright. Neither registartion or publication are required, nor is the use of the copyright symbol ... although it's a good idea to use the copyright symbol, as it reminds people that the work is protected by copyright.
JILL: So what're the copyright holders' rights?
JIM: Copyright holders have the exclusive right to copy, distribute, perform and display their work. And the right to create a derivative work, like when a book is made into a movie. This is why you may need permission if you want to email a research report to your project team or customer, post an article or report on a company wiki or an internet site, reprint articles in a company newsletter, post a news story about our company on our website, or make a photocopy of a newspaper article to hand out at a meeting.
JILL: Really? For everything?
JIM: Well, a lotta things ... such as books, magazine and online articles, songs, screenplays, choreography, photos, artwork, podcasts, and software! They're all protected by copyright. But not everything. Ideas, facts, and data are not protected by copyright law. Logos and taglines aren't either, although they might be protected by trademark law. Anything created by the U.S. government is not covered by copyright law. Uh, neither are works for which the copyright has expired.
JILL: But what about "fair use?" If it's for our research, doesn't fair use mean I can use the material?
JIM: Maybe ... Fair use recognizes that certain uses of the copyright-protected work do not require permission from the copyright holder. Fair use allows for the use of the copyright-protected work for commentary, parody, news reporting, research, and education. The U.S. Copyright Act lists four factors to help determine when a use may be considered fair use. The first is the purpose and character of the use. If the use is intended to help derive financial or other business benefit, then it is less likely to be considered fair use. That usually ends the analysis for most business uses. Next is the nature of the copyrighted work. The use of a purely factual work is more likely to be considered fair use, then the use of a creative work. Third, an evaluation of the amount and substantiality considers how much of the work was used. Even a small portion may be too much to qualify as fair use, if what is used is the heart of the work. And finally, fair use considers the effect of the use on the market or the potential market. If your use is likely to result in economic loss to the copyright holder, then it is less likely to be considered fair use. None of these factors alone is enough to determine fair use. You have to weight all four in order to determine if the use is really fair use.
JIM: This stuff is confusing. For example, many people confuse the physical ownership of a book or a CD with owning the copyright to that work. The "first sale" doctrine permits lending, reselling, disposing, et cetera of the item, but it does not permit reproducing of the material, performing it, or any of the copyright holder's other exclusive rights. Attribution is another area of confusion. Uh, people think if they just cite their source, they're good to go. But attribution is not a substitute for copyright permission. If the work is protected by copyright, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder, or their agent, in order to use it. And lots of people confuse the legal concept of the public domain with the fact that a work may be publicly available, such as information found in books or on the internet. The public domain comprises all those works that are either no longer protected by copyright, or never were.
JILL: Oh, I see.
JIM: Most people do not intentionally violate copyright law. Like you, they are simply unaware of their responsibilities as they go about their everyday activities, which often involve the use and distribution of published information.
JILL: Is this a big problem?
JIM: Imagine millions of employees moving billions of documents around the world, with no idea what their copyright responsibilities are ... It kills me!
JILL: I guess it is a big problem, but ... does it really matter? I mean, who's gonna know?
JIM: It matters, for many reasons. First and foremost, it's the law. It's unlawful to infringe on the rights of copyright holders. They can sue for damages or to recoup lost profits as a result of infringement ... which is costly and, well, it looks bad for the company. It's also a matter of ethics. Demonstrating respect for the rights of copyright holders is simply the right thing to do. When we generate intellectual property, we want our rights respected, so we should respect the rights of others. And finally, copyright ensures the continued availability of the high-value material we rely on. Our needs are served by copyright holders' information development, and the royalties we pay fuel further development.
JILL: Very interesting. So, what do we do when we want to use copyrighted information?
JIM: I'm always here to help, but the best advice I can give you is know the facts, remember your responsibilities, and when in doubt get permission.
* Copyright holders have some exclusive rights to their work
* Using or sharing copyrighted materials usually requires permission from the copyright holder or their agent
* Demonstrating respect for intellectual property is legally and ethically the right thing to do
* Copyright law applies equally to print and electronic works
* Just because something is publicly available does not mean it is free to use
* When in doubt ask your corporate information professional or legal counsel for advice
Brought to you by the rights licensing experts at ...
Copyright Clearance Center
www dot copyright dot com
Learn more: licensing [at] copyright [dot] com
DANVERS, Mass., April 23, 2009 - Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), the rights licensing expert, has released a short animated video designed to help people understand copyright law. "Copyright Basics" is a six-and- a-half minute video that follows the dashing "Jim T. Librarian" as he explains the importance of copyright to a co-worker. The video is free to use for educational purposes by organizations or individuals and can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.copyright.com/ copyrightbasicsvideo.
In this first installment, Jim helps his co-worker Jill understand why she shouldn't distribute published content without first checking to see if the company has the rights to do so. He goes on to explain the basics of copyright, what is and isn't covered under U.S. copyright law, how a copyright is created, and why copyright is important. Finally, Jim tackles some of the more confusing issues such as "what is fair use," how the "first sale" doctrine works, and why attribution isn't always enough - and he does it all in less than seven minutes!
Copyright Basics, CCC's newest educational resource, complements the company's mission of advancing the understanding of copyright law and improving respect for intellectual property. CCC has created a variety of workshops, seminars, online tutorials and custom programs that annually reach thousands of people in academic institutions and businesses worldwide.
"Copyright Basics makes copyright approachable," said Bob Weiner, senior vice president at CCC. "We've found that when people understand copyright, they are much more likely to show respect for the intellectually property of others. That is good for publishers of content, because it protects their rights, and also good for organizations and individuals, because it reduces the likelihood that they may inadvertently violate copyright law."
In a world where copyright law is anything but basic ...
It takes a sharp man in a sharper sweater to make sense of it all ...
Jim the Librarian explains copyright in ...
Watch the complete presentation at ...
www.copy right.com/ copyrightbasicsvideo
Performed as the know-it-all, but lovable Jim The Librarian in this series of animated web-isodes for Copyright.com. Directed by Ryan Junell, featuring the voice stylings of myself and Mara Gerstein, and others in future episodes. This guy has become so popular, they even gave him his own facebook page. Pretty funny.