Legal wise: The UCT community has access to various options in order to avoid copyright infringements.
"Copyright infringement is a common problem and often a result of people being unaware of the law."
So says Niki McQueen, spokesperson for UCT's Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS), adding, "With the advent of the Internet, copyright infringement has mushroomed and become very hard to monitor."
The university takes the protection of copyright very seriously and perpetrators of copyright infringements will face disciplinary measures, including confiscation of the material, possible confiscation of their computer equipment and being blocked from the network in the case of online infringements.
Fortunately there are easy to use, legal alternatives that are not subject to copyright laws.
One of these alternatives is the OpenContent directory, which showcases open licensed teaching and learning content. In addition, open search portals such as Creative Commons search and Wikimedia Commons facilitate searches for legal options and negate the need for the use of copyrighted materials.
The university has also signed a Blanket Licence Agreement with The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO). This means that certain copyrighted materials can be duplicated on campus '“ as long as they are used for educational purposes.
The university therefore appeals to all staff and students to respect the hard work behind the creation of copyrighted works, to follow copyright law and to use the alternative options freely available to them.
Image by Michael Hammond.
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