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Ethics and Copyright


    • Industrial Society to Information Society
    • Consequences of dependency on computer
    • Change in not only how we work but where we work

      No longer bound to the factory or office

      Humans replaced by computers

      Home office is future of work place

    • Educational requirements for employment
    • Equity--those with access and those without

    The Information Highway

    Who can navigate it?

    How do you get there?

    Where does it go?

    National Information Infrastructure (NII)

    Government sponsored version of the Internet

    Attempt to provide equity

    Goal--access to every school, hospital, public library


          What should be known about you?

    Who should have access?

    How do you know who has seen your information?

    How can you protect yourself?

    Are we a number now? (1984, Orwell)

Ethical Questions (Access Issues)

Right and Wrong way to use computers?

What information is proper to store?

Who should have access to information?


Credit and the web?

Every transaction is recorded by a computer--should anyone have access?

Credit ratings? Access?

Ethical Questions

Traffic records available? Who should see?

Offenders—should crimes be listed on Internet?

How do you know if the information on the computers is accurate?

How do you know what is there?

Privacy--Laws that protect you

Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970

deals with data collected for use by credit, insurance, and employment agencies

gives individuals the right to see information maintained on you

if denied credit, have right to see the files used to make the credit determination

if anything incorrect, right to have it changed

restricts who may have access to your file--only by court order or the permission of the individual

Privacy Act of 1974

restricts way personal data may be used by federal agencies

individual must have access to data about them and have the right to correct anything that is incorrect

agencies must insure security and confidentiality of sensitive information

Financial Privacy Act of 1978

requires government authority to have a subpoena, summons, or search warrant to access an individual’s financial records

when released, the financial institution must notify the individual who had access to their records

Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986

Crime to access electronic data without authorization

Prohibits the unauthorized release of data

Virginia and Computer Issues

Virginia Computer Crimes Act

Defines computer fraud

Defines computer trespass

Defines invasion of privacy by computer

Defines theft of computer services

Defines forgery by computer

Provides for civil relief, damages, and criminal penalty

Code of Virginia, Article 7.1, Section 18.2-152.4

Includes all parts of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act

Sets penalties ranging from a misdemeanor to a class 6 felony

Protecting Software


Easy to duplicate

Illegal copies--serious problem for software industry


Industry has taken proactive stance

raids on businesses and educational institutions

seek fines and destroys reputations

Protecting Data


Interference with or destruction of data

Electronic Communications Privacy Act makes hacking a federal offense

Hacking--planting viruses

program with instructions that destroy data on a specific command (date, keystroke, time)

duplicates each time software is copied

Computer crime costs billions yearly


Who is responsible?

How can these crimes be policed?

Why is education a targeted area?

Confusion of publishing fair use and software use--who should know?

What is the penalty for school divisions in violation?

Copyright Infringement (Fair Use)

Where does software fit in the copyright arena?

Do Fair Use in Print rules apply to software and the Internet?

Doctrine that permits courts to avoid rigid application of copyright statute

Allows use of portions of a copyrighted work

Purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching,…scholarship, or research."

See for summary of software issues

Four Factors of Fair Use

Purpose or character of use (commercial or nonprofit educational purpose)

Nature of the copyrighted work

Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to total work

Effect of the use upon potential market value of the work *Most Important

Multi-media Fair Use Guidelines

Agreement between higher education and performance media (CCUMC Multi-Media Guidelines)


Details three areas

permitted use for students

permitted use for educators

peer conference permitted use

Fair Use—Internet and MultimediaMulti-media

Section 110

Educators have the right to public performance and display for face to face instruction

Capture for instruction over time

permission required

Permitted Use--Students

Produce for a specific course (computer generated product with presentation controlled by computer)

Perform/display in course created

Use in portfolio (academic work, position applications, graduate school interviews)

Permitted Use--Educators

Instruction in multi-media development

Curriculum based instruction

face to face activity

self-directed activity

remote instruction on a secure network (NOT Internet)

Peer Conferences

Workshops and conferences

Professional portfolio

Time Limitations

Student--only during class but can be retained for portfolio

Educator--only for teaching activity (maximum of 2 years) no limit for retention in portfolio

Limitations of Source

Motion Media

10% or 3 minutes (whichever is less)


10% or 1000 words (whichever is less)


250 words or less or entire poem

no more than 3 poems per poet

no more than 5 poems per Anthology

Numerical Data Sets

up to 10% or 2500 fields or cells (whichever is less)

Illustrations, Photographs--10% or 15 images (whichever is less)

No more than 5 images for a single artist/photographer

Copying and Distribution Limits

No more than 2 use copies

One of which may be placed on reserve

One preservation copy

Used to generate replacement if one of 2 original copies fail

Permission Required

Guidelines Do Not Apply

Producing for commercial (sale) use

Replicating beyond copy limits

Distributing copies to others

Producing for use beyond your educational institution

Transmitting over electronic networks

Contemplating a future use that results in wider distribution

Computer Software

Easy to copy electronically

Piracy of software major problem in industry

Adds to expense of developing, testing, marketing and supporting software

Industry has responding by "raiding" business and educational institutions

Options for Use

Licensing--giving it out for a fee $$$

Shareware--giving it out for small fee, "try before you buy honor system"

Freeware--giving all up, keeping little, retain copyright

Public Domain--release, no copyright

Web Issues-- Online ethics

Content--can others use you source code

Is Web Whacking a site a violation?

Design--can they borrow your page design

Is saving source code to your hard drive a violation of copyright?

Is reusing HTML source code on your page a violation of copyright?

Fair Use?

Filtering--firewall software to protect from dangerous material

    Who defines dangerous?

    What does the filtering software do?

    How does it fit with First Amendment rights?


Can you link to anyone? Can they link to you?

Do you have to get permission?

Implied Public Access

Web presence implies desire to link

Yet to be litigated


Tell site you are linking to them

Remove link if objection

Composite Pages

Pages created with elements from different web pages

Elements are linked in

Page is series of links to other sites and servers


Ethics and the Web

Do we own information?

Will control of information become a factor in world events?

Can manipulation of data result in detriment to society?

Compensation and creativity--must protect?

International flavor of web makes copyright law difficult--no boundaries

Ethics and Technology

Rights of owners of intellectual property vs. rights of society


Notions of property, value, ownership, and wealth are changing fundamentally

Relationship to the marketplace

loyalty of users to a particular software package

unique quality of software


Chang, et. al., "Intellectual Property in the Information Age".

"Bleeding Edge: Software Issues."

"Bleeding Edge: Fair Use."

"Bleeding Edge: Web Issues."

Roblyer, M. D. and Edwards, Jack.  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching.  Columbus, Ohio, Prentice-Hall: 1999.


This page was updated on:  04/10/02