Copyright Statement

Bristol Board of Education Policy 6141.322(f)

The Internet has grown to a world wide computer network with many different type of users with many different purposes for their presence. Copyright issues are often brushed aside or completely ignored. As an educational institution we should be aware of the necessity of conforming to all laws, regardless of how they may be perceived on the Internet. The guidelines stated herein are for our own protection and for teaching by example those principles we wish to instill within our students.

The copyright law and the courts have provided exceptions to the rules that govern the behavior of teachers, students, and schools. In general terms, teachers, students and schools are allowed to make "fair use" of materials for instructional purposes. "Fair use" has been interpreted to include those limited uses which are not likely to deprive a publisher or an author from income.

"Fair use" of Internet resources by teachers, students, schools or district personnel should parallel the use of printed resources. Teachers and students might make limited use of some text and graphics within their own classrooms. They should not "publish" those same materials across other classrooms within the building by posting on a local area network (LAN) or across other classrooms in other buildings on a wide area network (WAN) or the World Wide Web.

Teachers and students may make limited use of information, text and graphics so long as their resulting works remain within the classroom setting. The moment the works move out of the classroom, they may fall under a "public performance" clause of the copyright law which imposes much greater restrictions and fees.
If purchased clip art collections are used, the language outlining web rights must be read carefully. Most contain some form of agreement printed on a seal which is broken upon opening. Most of these agreements require the printing of a credit line on any document to be published which includes one or more graphics from the collection. The best advice is to read and follow the stipulations within the agreement.

Teachers, students or other district personnel may not use other's materials (graphics, text, etc.) when they publish on the Web unless they have requested and received formal permission to do so.

To avoid problems with what to use or not use, the following statement should be our guide. Unless there is a clear statement that art, photos and text are "public domain" and available for free use one should assume that they are copyrighted and behave accordingly. This material should not be used for republication on a local area network, a wide area network or a Web site unless permission is granted from the owner. If there is any question about possible copyright issues or problems, the material should not be used until the web master has been consulted.

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