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Copy Rights and Wrongs

A Guide to Online Content Use
This site will help you decide whether or not you need a license to use specific online content, particularly at an educational institution. It contains information, links to relevant websites, and wizards - forms that allow you to input information about your intended use and then return a calculated response tailored to your situation.

Finding out whether you can use a whole class of content or a particular content title can be a daunting task because copyright laws are complex, court rulings can influence legal interpretations, rights to different media (text, music, video, CDs) are represented by different collectives, and rights to a content title may be represented by a company or individual rather than a collective. This website makes it easier and quicker to make your determination.

Navigation
You can use the menu bar on the left to access particular sections, the arrows at the bottom of each page to move to the next or previous page, or you can jump right into the Permissions Wizards, particularly if you've been to this web site before. The Permission Wizards will ask you some yes/no questions about your content and then quickly present you with an answer: whether you need permission and, if so, where you can get it. The Wizards also display answers as traffic signals.

Needs No Permission
Consult An Expert
Permission Required
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A Canadian Perspective
The information is aimed at Canadian users. Copyright laws are different in every country, so content placed on a Canadian site may be legal for access in Canada while breaking the law if accessed in another country. Similarly, a Canadian user may be breaking the law when accessing online content that is legally placed on a server in another country. Some of the national differences among copyright laws are the length of copyright protection and the exceptions to copyright, such as Fair Use (only valid in the U.S.) and Fair Dealing (valid in Canada and many other countries).

Authorship, Disclaimer
Except as noted, the content is copyright © Hoffert Communications 2002. All rights are reserved. Organizations interested in Wizards with different national or other perspectives should contact Paul Hoffert at [email protected]. Copy Rights and Wrongs is a project of the OnDisC Alliance, a not-for-profit consortium of content providers and educational users working together to accelerate the use of rich online media content.

WARNING: This information is provided only as a guide without warranty of any kind. Legal advice should be sought where appropriate. The authors assume no responsibility and no liability for damages of any kind arising from its use.

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