I am not a lawyer, let me make that clear. But I did have to study Copyright Law when I was in Journalism school. It was a law class, taught by a law professor, using real law books in the law library at BU.
And the biggest thing I learned from this class is that most people have no fucking idea about copyright, though many think that they do. Remember when rap sampling got mainstream, and everyone said that you could legally use up to eight seconds of a work without infringing copyright? Not true. You also can't... you know what? It's complicated. Use the links above if you actually want to educate yourself. If those are too heavy, and you want a pretty good summary, check this out.
But whatever you do, please do not believe a word of what follows below, which was posted to a knitting list I subscribe to.
Copyright works this way:Please note the authoritative tone. As I said, I am constantly amazed at how ignorant some people can be of their own ignorance.
* If the book is over 25 years old and/or out of print it can be xeroxed
* Books from the library are exempt because the Library is an educational institution. All educational uses of material are usually exempt. There are some exceptions to this.
* I only copy to use in a class...I teach. Perfectly legal.