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Wednesday, September 16, 2009.

IMC: Copyright Law

Recent advances in technology have created unforeseen dilemmas for educators in the area of copyright law. The video recorder is an example of a technology which has an increasing impact on school systems. It has become a valuable instructional tool, is used appropriately, in the hands of dedicated classroom teachers.

While quick and easy access to a variety of broadcast programming has an immediate and compelling appeal, the use of such programming in the classroom carries with it a clear legal and moral responsibility to respect the protections provided in copyright law. Recent federal court decisions have made it quite clear that unlimited use and retention of off-air video-recordings, without requesting permission or paying licensing fees, is a clear violation of the intent of the law.

Educators must be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding this complex issue. It is important to understand that there are federal guidelines which provide for limited copying and retention of off-air video recording for a specific time period. In addition, the Fair Use provisions of copyright law permit limited use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes without permission or payment of fees.

Please contact the IMC, should you have any questions regarding the copyright policy, its implementation, or the IMC recording service.