Copyright and fair use

The information below provides some guidance about photocopying and issues related to storing and sharing electronic documents. It's intended for information and guidance only and is not a statement of Monaco copyright law.


If you make copies of any material, whether electronic or paper based, you need to keep in mind the concept of "fair use". Copyright law allows for some flexibility, within reason, and depends on the interpretation of four factors:

Beware what you share

A recent news item reports that a company has had to pay a $300,000 fine because it distributed copyrighted press clippings internally. The company "disseminated copies of relevant magazine and newspaper articles in the good faith belief that it was lawful to do so", but unfortunately, ignorance of the law did not protect them.

The end for 'fair use'?

Copyright laws were first introduced with provision for fair use - a limited ability to copy for education, art and critique. The United States and Korea have released the draft text of their free trade agreement and it completely eliminates these fair use provisions. Erosion of copyright law in this way is a worrying trend that threatens educational resources.

Will Turnitin need to turn it in?

Scourge of students everywhere, the Californian company Turnitin has been accused of breaking copyright law by two Arizona high school kids. The anti-plagiarism service is used by 6,000 institutions in 90 countries and stores each student work submitted in its database. The pair claim that it violates their right to control their own copyrighted work.

The father of one of the plaintiffs thinks schools should teach students that cheating is wrong. "You can't take a person's work and run it through a computer and make an honest person out of them" he said.


Intellectual property theft not confined to real world

The online game Second Life is breeding a virtual world of fashion design.

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