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Film and Digital Media


Copyright protects the rights of creators to their literary and artistic works. Copyright is automatic as soon as the works have been put in tangible form (e.g., written works on paper or in digital form, a recorded song, printed or digital photographs, graphics, sculptures, audiovisuals, architectural designs, etc.). As an author or creator, that person can do or authorize others to do the following:

> Make copies of the work;

> Distribute copies of the work;

> Publicly perform or display the work; and/or

> Make derivatives of the work.

There are exceptions to copyright (such as fair use) and many other intricacies. The difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism are also often confused. Keep tools and resources handy for learning about copyright topics.

For further information about copyright, see:

> UCF Libraries’ Copyright Policies

> UCF Regulation UCF-2.033 Copyright and Works for University personnel

Fair Use

Because the following four-pronged test for Fair Use is highly subjective, it is difficult to know whether the application of the test will stand up in a court of law.

  1. Purpose for use (is it for nonprofit educational use or commercial use?)
  2. Nature of the work (is it a film, article, musical composition etc.?)
  3. Amount used (are you using a small portion of the work or a substantial amount?)
  4. Effect on work’s use on the market (will it result in the copyright owner potentially losing the ability to profit from their work?)

For that reason, UCF has chosen to adopt the guidelines set forth under 5.-9. of the UCF Use of Copyrighted Material Policy rather than to ask individuals to apply the four-pronged test. UCF personnel should follow applicable copyright law and the above referenced policy.

For additional resources pertaining to fair use, please visit the UCF General Counsel’s website, but, in reading these materials or the legal resources posted on the UCF General Counsel’s website, please keep in mind that they do not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, specific legal advice. The resolution of legal issues frequently hinges on slight changes in the facts and circumstances, and a particular situation may well be different from those described in these materials. UCF faculty and/or staff members who encounter legal questions within the course of their employment, including those pertaining to copyright law, the university’s guidelines with respect to fair use, university regulations and/or other official UCF documents, should contact the UCF Office of the General Counsel. UCF students should contact the Office of Scholarly Communication at the John C. Hitt Library.

UCF Libraries Office of Scholarly Communication

For questions about copyright and fair use, please contact the Office of Scholarly Communication.