Adviser Update Adviser Update Spring 2017 | Page 20

TEMPTATIONS OF THE INTERNET HOW COPYRIGHT LAW’S FAIR USE DOCTRINE CAN HELP YOU LEGALLY USE MANY OF THE THINGS THINGS YOU FIND ON THE WEB. By Gary Clites T he laws of copyright and plagiarism have been a challenge for publication advisers as long as there have been photocopiers. With the omnipresence of the Internet and students’ easy access to the intellectual property of others, the temptation on deadline to fill those little holes in the newspaper, yearbook, website or magazine with material easily downloadable has become more and more intense. Let’s face it: We all know that it is highly unlikely a major publication or corporation would sue a student newspaper for grabbing a photo off the Internet to accompany an article, but we also know it is bad educational policy to allow our students to bend the rules of copyright to solve their layout problems. Generally, that means requiring students to get written, or at least verbal, permission before using anything they download off the web in a student publication. We also know how difficult it can be to get professionals to respond to student requests for permission to publish. A little known tenet of copyright law may allow you to use some of the items students commonly download off the internet without getting permission and in a perfectly legal manner. Fair Use is a concept within copyright law which allows for the use or reproduction of copyrighted material under certain circumstances and for particular purposes. Specifically, Section 107 of Title 17 of the United States Code related to copyright law states that: “...the fair use of a copyrighted work, including