The Catholic University of America
Of Counsel - A Bulletin on Legal Issues at CUA - August 1999

Cyberspace

Copyright and the Internet

Exactly how copyright law applies to the Internet is still not entirely clear, but here are some rules to keep in mind:

  • You may look at another person's Web page, even though your computer makes a temporary copy when you do so, but you may not redistribute it or incorporate it into your own Web page without permission, except as fair use may allow.

  • You probably may quote all or part of another person's Web posting or mailing list message in your response to that message, unless the original message says that copying is prohibited. It is generally the policy of mailing lists that copying material for redistribution is prohibited.

  • Although most people may not be aware of it, copyright vests in the author of a letter or an e-mail at the time the message is created, so exercise the same caution with e-mail that you would when distributing private correspondence.

  • You probably may print out a single copy of a Web page, mailing list, or private e-mail message for your own personal, noncommercial use.

  • You may not post another person's book, article, graphic, image, music, or other such material on your Web page, mailing list, or private e-mail messages without permission, except as fair use may allow.

  • You may download materials from Lexis-Nexis or other such services, but you need permission to copy or redistribute them, unless the applicable license agreement expressly permits you to do so, or unless your particular use would constitute fair use.

  • You may not copy or redistribute software without permission, unless the applicable license agreement expressly permits you to do so. Copying software that is not licensed to CUA is strictly prohibited except for backup purposes, or if permission has been granted by the copyright holder. If there is no source identified on the software from which permission may be sought, you may make a copy of the software for personal use.




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