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Have you incorporated some or all of another's work in new works that you have created? For example, used movie clips in an online video or music as background for your own images? Did you feel that you needed permission from the copyright owner to do so? If not, was it because you weren't making any money from the use or you felt it was free advertising for the copyright owner? Perhaps you thought it was acceptable as long as you gave proper credit or attribution. Or maybe you thought the work was in the public domain or your use would not hurt the owner because he or she was rich enough already? Any of this sound familiar?
If so, you are certainly not alone. All of these reasons (which are wrong) were documented in a survey done by American University's Center for Social Media and published in 2007 in The Good, The Bad, and The Confusing: User-Generated Video Creators on Copyright.
While the survey received many interesting responses from university students, the conclusion was no surprise: There is a significant need "for better general understanding of the use rights of creators." [referring to copyright use rights.] Although UNCC can provide you with that better general understanding of the use rights of creators, you must take responsibility for your own sense of morality or ethics concerning the taking of other's material, such as music and movies. For some interesting reading on that subject, read Students School David Pogue on the New Copyright Morality. In particular, if you wish to understand this generational divide better, read Pogue's Post on this, especially the comments that have come in.
Here you will find reliable, understandable information on copyright. Whatever your motivation for visiting, a basic understanding of copyright - not only what you can't do but, more importantly, what you can do - will only help you in your academic career at UNCC as well as your future endeavors.
The best place to start is with the Copyright Basics Tutorial followed by the Using Copyrighted Works Tutorial. They are brief, to the point, and may dispel some of the misinformation you might have gathered along the way.
Most students are more interested in plagiarism information than they are about copyright infringement, right or wrong. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged that you go on to read the information on plagiarism in general, and particularly, how plagiarism is defined and interpreted at UNC-Charlotte, including the Plagiarism Appendix to your Code of Student Academic Integrity.
This site is for informational purposes only; it does not track or report copyright infringers and is not a source of legal advice. For students, the primary topics of concern appear to be plagiarism and appropriate use of university computer resources. In the interests of placing copyright information for UNCC students in a central location, the following links are provided:
• Campus Downloading: See the video on a UNCC student's file-sharing encounter with the RIAA. Does it sound like you?
This is UNC Charlotte's implementation copyright policy pursuant to the University of North Carolina's Copyright Use and Ownership Policy. While it may seem inapplicable to you, as a student, there is a section in the policy that addresses copyright ownership of students works. You should read this section (linked below) because it automatically applies to you, as a condition of enrollment. Since copyright arises automatically as soon as an original work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression, you are all creating copyrighted works when you create papers, projects, and other materials while here. Wouldn't you be interested in knowing who owns your work?
• Class Notes: The UNC-Charlotte Copyright Policy also addresses notes you take in classes here - the short story: Never sell them or give them to any site that sells class notes.