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Meredith College Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy Information Page: Copyright FAQ

Questions and Answers

Can I download a computer game or other program?

It depends.

Did you pay for the game? Of course you can download something you paid for!

If not, is it freeware or shareware? Some programmers are happy to share their creations freely.  Freeware usually has a license attached explaining in what ways you can use or redistribute the software.  Shareware licenses will explain how long you may use software before you must pay for it or stop using it.  Be careful not to download a virus, worm or or piece of malware along with your new game!

All other downloading of software will violate copyright law.

Can I download a movie or music?

It depends.

Did you purchase the movie or music online?  Of course you can download something you have paid for.

If not, has it been made freely available over the internet?  Some performers, producers and directors are glad to share their productions freely.  Good examples are the short movies that are produced by advertisers.  Look for a statement giving permission and terms under which you may download the film or music. 

All other downloading of music or movies will violate copyright law.  It is not legal to download a movie or music just because you purchased the DVD or video.

Can my club show a movie?

Almost every movie requires permission from the producer before it can be shown to any group.

You've seen the FBI warnings scroll across the screen, haven't you? In brief, the warning says you have permission to show the movie in your own home (e.g. dorm room, apartment, or house) to your own family and close friends. For anywhere else or any other group, with one exception, you must get permission. The one exception s that a professor/teacher may show a film to a class without getting special permission, if the portion(s) of the film shown directly relate to the subject of the class.

All of this means that you must get permission to show a movie to a club. Ask the Media Services Department (760-8444) in the library for more information about all of this.

Can I give copies of an article to my class?

You can give your class copies of articles that are tightly tied to course instruction.  You should consider the fair use test each time you copy anything for your class.  Limit your copying of books to a single chapter or 10%.  Remember that copying textbooks or worksheets probably fails the market text and should not be done.

One thing to keep in mind is that many journal articles are now available online through the library. You can refer your students to these online resources to retrieve and read the article for themselves and avoid most copyright issues related to this topic. 

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