Copyright Issues

February 25th, 2014  Tagged ,

This week in class we learned about the basic of copyright issues, and fair sharing of digitized information. The question that has been presented in wether or not the Calvin and Hobbes comic in the headers of the syllabus violates copyright laws or not. At first, I assumed that it did not, because a digital historian would not knowingly violate copyright laws. Upon further investigation of the copyright laws of Calvin and Hobbes comics, I discovered that it depends on the year that each comic was published. Calvin and Hobbes was a daily comic strip that was published from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson, the creator and artist, fought a long battle to prevent the comic strip from being merchandized, which led to a lot of bootlegging. However, the comic strip series is now registered with Universal Uclick Reprints, and it can be used without permission for all educational purposes, but only in the classroom itself. You can use up to seven comics a year without payment under the fair use policy, but if you need more than seven, you have to pay. Calvin and Hobbes comics can be used in educational purposes for syllabi, overheads, reprinted on tests or exams, passed out for sharing during lectures, or other uses that are strictly IN the classroom.

Using these comics on the syllabus of this website both violates and does not violate copyright laws, because it is is used is a syllabus, however, Calvin and Hobbes comics are not supposed to be reprinted online, on webpages, on the internet, or e-mailed. Because it is an online syllabus, technically it does violate copyright laws.

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