Use of Other Works
Use of works of others may require:
- Ownership clarification
New works that result from the bringing together of text, graphics,
photographs, sound recordings, or movie clips can be a valuable
educational resource for students, both in traditional classroom
settings as well as through distance education courses.
These new sources and bodies of information are often easy to access,
but if they are used, what impact will this have on the rights in
the new work?
Two types of works formed in this manner are compilations and derivative
- A compilation is a work in which several separate elements are
gathered together and arranged in an original way.
- A derivative work is a work that modifies, recasts or transforms
a previous work. The new work may be eligible for copyright protection,
in addition to the copyright in any components or prior works.
Whether a developer can use materials copyrighted by others in
a compilation or derivative is an important question to resolve
before work on a project begins. Generally, when someone alters
a work, permission of the copyright owner is required, absent a
fair use defense.
Just because the technology exists to allow works to be gathered
together to form what could be a valuable resource, does not mean
that the law will permit such an effort. Whether or not particular
works may be used and what rights the creator of the resulting compilation
would have depends on the particular works involved, the manner
in which the particular works were used, and the intended use of
Generally, if the developer of a compilation intends to publish the work or
distribute copies of the work to others, such an effort requires that the developer
of a compilation obtain the permission of the owner of each copyrighted contribution
brought together to form the compilation. Without such agreements, the compilation
may infringe the rights of others.