Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Copyright: To Steal or Not to Steal...Is that Really a Question?

As part of my mission to share my storytelling work with colleagues and educators  I leave my self open to copyright infringement. Through the years, resources from my workshops, magazine columns, newsletters, blog and website have been used without attribution. Surprisingly, some of the worst offenders have been educational institutions, those who should be on the front lines, teaching their students about respecting copyright.

Happily, there are also those who respect the work of others and their professional reputation is important to them. They are the ones who take the extra step and request permission, and to them I am thankful.

Through the years I have asked a number or storytellers and visual artists to use their work, with attribution. Each one has said, "Yes" and the common thread between them all is that they were grateful to be asked.

I hope you never have to worry about your work being pirated, but if you do, here are some resources to help through the copyright maze.

Copyright Management Center
Lots of useful information on copyright, ownership, fair use, etc., from Indiana University.
* This site was last updated in 1998 so some information may be out of date.

Copyright Resources for Schools and Libraries -  Lots of resources here with additional links.

Flowchart for Determining When U.S. Copyrights in Fixed Works Expire

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, The Copyright Term Extension Act (S. 505) as P.L. 105-278. The full text of the Act may be found here:

Washington State University
This site should be titled, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Copyright and More! There is a wealth of information here at your fingertips, for artists, librarians, teachers and Internet Users:
  • Promotion of the Arts
  • Artists Exclusive Rights
  • How Copyright Protects
  • Public Domain and Duration of Copyrights
  • Music and Copyright
  • Internet and Copyright
  • Library and Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • Getting Permission
However, what is truly useful is that the information is dispensed using plain English, no legalese allowed if you please. There is even a Public Domain Chart that highlights all of the recent changes in copyright law. In addition, you will find a long list of other web sources should you need to investigate further.  http://publishing.wsu.edu/copyright/

When Works Pass Into the Public Domain
An easy to understand chart to help answer the public domain question.

It seems redundant to add a copyright notice to a blog post on the subject but nonetheless, here it is.

Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.