Tuesday, September 30, 2008

World Wide Web

"The Internet has been characterized as the largest threat to copyright since its inception. The Internet is awash in information, a lot of it with varying degrees of copyright protection. Copyrighted works on the Net include news stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, Usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. That can pose problems for the hapless surfer." ( http://www.benedict.com/)

What is protected on the World Wide Web?
The specific design of a Web page and the following contents are protected by copyright:
-Original Text
-List of Web sites compiled by an individual or organization
-All other unique elements that make up the original nature of the material.

When creating a Web page, you CAN:
-Link to other Web sites.
-Use free graphics on your Web page.

When creating a Web page, you CANNOT:
-Put the contents of another person's or organizations web site on your Web page.
-Copy and paste information together from various Internet sources to create "your own" document.
-Incorporate other people's electronic material, such as e-mail, in your own document, without permission.
-Forward someone's e-mail to another recipient without permission.
-Change the context of or edit someone else's digital correspondence in a way which changes the meaning.
-Copy and paste others' lists of resources on your own Web page.
-Copy and paste logos, icons, and other graphics from other web sites to your Web page.

Information taken from:
Montecino, V. (1996). Copyright and the Internet. Retrieved September 25, 2008, from

Public Domain?

When surfing the World Wide Web, it is easy to copy pictures, graphics, HTML codes, or original writings. Many individuals believe that anything found on the Internet falls under the category of public domain and can be taken without permissions from the author/creator/owner. After all, if the information wasn't public domain, why would browser's allow us to select "file save as?" To help understand why media and information on the Internet is not public domain think about your driveway. Your driveway isn't technically located inside your home, so does that mean anyone can come onto your driveway and do what they want making it public domain? NO! Just because your driveway is visible from the street and can be easily accessed by many individuals, its mere location does not make it public domain.

Consequently, the same idea applies to material published on the Internet. Material on Internet can only be copied freely if the information meets one of the following:

1-Information is created by the federal government.
2-Copyright has expired.
3-Copyright has been abandoned by the holder.

As a result, information on the Internet cannot automatically be deemed as public domain. The only way that it receives this classification is if it meets one of the above criteria listed above.

With this in mind, think about the types of information, pictures, graphics, writings, or HTML codes that you have copied or saved from the Internet in the past. Can you think of an instance when what you copied or saved actually met one of the listed criteria? Share your thoughts about materials on the Internet and public domain.


What is copyright protection? (2007). Retrieved September 29, 2008, from http://www.whatiscopyright.org/

The Internet and Copyright

The contents of this blog will focus on copyright and how it pertains to the Internet, especially in the school setting. In addition, I will also be posting information about CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act). With that in mind, please check back often to gain valuable information about this "hot topic."

Think about the following...

I recently had to do a PowerPoint presentation on Thailand for one of my ESL courses. The PowerPoint needed to reflect different aspects of Thai culture. While working on this project, I often went to Google and typed in a search phrase and clicked on "Images" to find pictures that corresponded with the category. Here is one of the pictures that I found relating to Thai weddings:


I was able to move my mouse over the picture and right click to "copy" it. Then I went to my PowerPoint and "pasted" it to my presentation. Now, with this in mind, did I violate copyright or was the image available for my use since it was located on the World Wide Web? Post your thoughts here.