Copyright: it affects what you can or can’t do
In the course of research you’ll certainly want to make copies of published materials such as book chapters, journal articles, or download materials from websites and share them on another website, such as your online course. Because there is so much information in circulation, it’s easy to overlook the legal requirements of copyright.
Copyright, according to BusinessDictionary.com is defined as follows:
Legal monopoly that protects published or unpublished original work (for the duration of its author's life plus 50 years) from unauthorized duplication without due credit and compensation. Copyright covers not only books but also advertisements, articles, graphic designs, labels, letters (including emails), lyrics, maps, musical compositions, product designs, etc. According to the major international intellectual-property protection treaties (Berne Convention, Universal Copyright Convention, and WIPO Copyright Treaty) five rights are associated with a copyright namely the right to:
(1) Reproduce the work in any form, language, or medium.
(2) Adapt or derive more works from it.
(3) Make and distribute its copies.
(4) Perform it in public.
(5) Display or exhibit it in public.
Please be aware that, if something is copyrightable in print, it is also copyrightable in electronic form.
Copyright is therefore an important legal framework for protecting the rights of the copyright holder. Copyright holders may be the publisher or the original creator of the work you want to copy. Even if you own a copy of the material you want to distribute to others, or if the content you want to share is freely available online, it’s important that you understand how your actions are limited by copyright which is represented by the symbol ©. Individuals, not the institution, will be liable for hefty legal costs if they are sued by copyright holders.
Take a look at this 6 minute tutorial on what faculty need to know about copyright. All that you hear and see here applies to you too!
By law, the Library may only accept materials that comply with the copyright regulations for the Short loans section. Photocopies of published materials should be cleared through the CHEC Publishing Liaison Office. Application for clearing copyright may be made online at http://plo.uct.ac.za/user.php. Helpful instructions are available here.