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Copyright, the Internet and the Web

[Information included in this section has not had formal University policy review and is being made available for review and .]


May I use anything I find on the Web?

The short answer is "not without permission." The Internet and the World Wide Web present tremendous opportunities for sharing information but it is important to remember that what is freely available most likely is NOT be in the public domain. Most, if not all, works distributed electronically are protected by copyright. You should assume all works available on the computer networks and the WWW are copyrighted. This includes images, text, logos, software, sounds, movie clips, email and postings to newsgroups. Under copyright law, unless you have been given permission to use or copy a work for a particular purpose, you may NOT copy the work, even it is easy to do so. In many cases, there are permission statements included with the work and you may use the work for the purposes stated without any further permission or license.

May I provide links to other sites on my Web Page?

This topic is debated often and no clear resolution has emerged. Unless you are given express permission to link to a site, you should contact the owner of the other site and obtain their permission before you do so.

How do I protect things on my Web page?

You should carefully consider all works you place on your web page. Although it is illegal and an infringement of your copyright for someone to copy your work without your permission, the reality is that it is very easy for someone to do. It is possible to limit the systems that can access your site, for example, only UC computers could gain access; or set up a password system to allow only certain users to the site. You should place a copyright notice on the work and advise browsers what they may and may not do with your work. None of these approaches will prevent someone from copying your works off your site. In short, if you have something very valuable that you don't want people to use, don't put it on your web page.

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