The Internet is growing and developing rapidly. A vast amount of written material, images, and videos can be found online. Laws have been established that apply to the Internet and the use of information in various online formats and mediums. Copyright law is among the protections for materials found on the Internet, whether marked with a copyright symbol or not. It is a common misconception that anything found online may be copied or downloaded. In actuality, writings, images, videos, audio files and other works found on the Internet may be automatically protected by copyright law, even without being registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
The Alvernia University Copyright Policy offers guidelines for legal and ethical use of information. Though fair use guidelines allow for educational use of intellectual property under some specified conditions, it is essential to analyze such considerations as copyright law, fair use guidelines, and public domain status prior to copying and reposting any materials found on the Internet.
To help you evaluate fair use, you may use either:
The Fair Use Checklist analysis tool created by Columbia University Libraries.
The Fair Use Evaluator Tool developed by the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology.
Both civil and criminal penalties apply to making illegal copies and file sharing. For more information, consult the Alvernia University Copyright Policy.