Copyright is a legal protection granted to the creator of an original work. The United States Copyright Act protects original works from being used without permission from their authors. Under copyright law, authors have exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and profit from their work.
These protections and rights apply automatically, at the moment of the work's creation. The intellectual property policy of MCNY states that faculty hold copyright over work created while working for the college, including teaching, scholarly, and artistic materials. There are some examples to this rule, such as work created under grants for which the college needs to hold copyright. For more information, see the MCNY Faculty Handbook.
Legal penalties for copyright infringement may include financial fees (from $200 to $150,000 for each individual act of infringement) and jail time.
As of 1998, U.S. copyright extends to the lifetime of the author plus 70 years for works created in or after 1978. Copyright protections for works created between 1924 and 1978 depend on when the works were published, registered, and renewed. As of 2020, copyright protection has expired for any work published in the U.S. on or before 1924.
The purpose of this guide is to assist faculty in making informed decisions about copyright and the use of copyrighted materials in online and blended courses.
It is not intended to replace the advice of legal counsel for specific copyright scenarios
Copyright law protects expression that takes a tangible, fixed form. Section 102 of the U.S. Copyright Act protects the following:
Not protected by copyright are: facts, ideas, systems or methods of operation; however, copyright may protect the way these are expressed. Short phrases, slogans, and symbols are not covered by copyright either, but may be protected under trademark law.
You can use work that is: