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IT: Technology news
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4.3.1 Copyright

One of the reasons the World Wide Web has grown so quickly, and why it is so interesting, is that anyone can publish (almost) anything on it. This raises a number of problems, however, particularly with the issue of copyright. It is very easy to find information, images, audio and video files on the web. You can then easily save them and incorporate them into your own material. This ease of copying means people often make the mistake of assuming that everything on the web is freely available. This is not the case.

Here are some general rules of thumb you should bear in mind:

Just because something is on the web does not mean it is freely available for you to use in your own work. As with any material which is protected by copyright, you should seek the author's permission if you wish to use it.

With text you can use up to 5 per cent of any one piece of work without seeking permission. With images, sound, animations, and video clips, you should seek permission, unless you are specifically told you can download and use them freely.

Bear in mind that information published on the Web may have been put there by someone who does not hold the copyright to it. Simply because material appears on the Web does not mean that it is in the public domain, or that it has been published legitimately.

If you wish to reuse a lot of material taken from the web, you should make a link to the page where it appears, rather than incorporating it into a page of your own. When you provide links you should place them in an appropriate context, and identify the site to which they connect.

Copyright law allows students special concessions but these are very limited. As a student you may use copyright material for your own personal study purposes only. This includes using copyright material as part of an assignment. If you later want to use the same material for any other purpose, you must seek permission.

You should not alter images or other copyright material. (However, illustrations may be resized, and editorial deletions can be made to texts so long as these are clearly indicated).