Tech Tour #8: Copyright Law & Legal Entertainment

Image of Scrappy the Eagle next to the words copyright, fair use and infringement with another photo of four smiling, happy students in UNT t-shirts.

student tech tour stop 8 links to twitterThis is an especially important stop. Please, pay close attention to avoid potentially serious legal complications.

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States, 17 U.S.C., to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works.

Copyright infringement means unauthorized use of copyrighted material in a manner that violates the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, as provided by law. This includes distributing, reproducing, performing or displaying protected pieces of work. A person found guilty of copyright infringement stands to face a steep fine for damages and profits, as well as potential jail time, depending on the severity of the infraction.  The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment.

Bottom Line: Anyone who makes unauthorized use of copyrighted material in a manner that violates the copyright owner’s exclusive rights (except for the limitations and exemptions described in the UNT policy) is committing copyright infringement and may be subject to civil and criminal penalties as well as disciplinary action by UNT.  

Unsure? If you are unsure whether something is protected by a copyright, chances are it probably is. With the help of some simple principles, and a bit of responsible research, you will be able to save yourself from breaching copyright law. Err on the side of caution.

Know the policies, the law and fair use.

 

Legal Entertainment Sources

Trying to stay up-to-date on the availability of music and video resources online and otherwise is often a challenge. The list of websites and resources below is only a jumping-off point. Remember, Google (or insert your favorite search engine name here) is your friend. Looking for something? Search the World Wide Web; it is probably out there! Whatever you do, always stay on the legal side of finding your entertainment. The Recording Industry Association of America®, RIAA, and/or the Motion Picture Association of America, MPAA, may be watching. Seriously.

UNT takes a hard stance against the illegal sharing of copyright-protected material; for more information please read UNT's Approach to Addressing Copyright Infringement.

ResNet and the Residence Halls 

The University of North Texas has partnered with Apogee in order to provide Residential Network, called ResNet, service. You can view Apogee’s end-user agreement at https://www.myresnet.com/pdf/eua.pdf. Additionally, EDUCAUSE, A nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology, has created a page that provides resources for legal campus downloading. 

Music Resources 

Below are just some of the places you can go to stream music for free or subscription-based, and purchase music. Some of these services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, offer a student discount if you sign up with your UNT e-mail. Be sure to check if there's any student discounts on the platforms you choose to save money!

Music Streaming Sources
   Spotify   |  Apple Music  |  Tidal  |  Pandora  |  Last.fm  |  Napster | Amazon Music | YouTube 

Buy Music (digital and physical)
 Walmart Music | Barnes and Noble | Recycled Denton

You can check out more resources from About.com, including Watch Free Music Videos From MTV 

Movie & T.V. Resources

Below are just some of the places you can visit to stream movies and television shows for free or subscription-based, or to rent them.

Netflix | Hulu  | Tubi | Prime Video | Sling | Redbox 

On Campus Sources

  • A great source of free music, videos, and games on campus is the University of North Texas Libraries. Specifically, the Media Library and the Music Library. Also worth noting is the Media Library's Film Series. More sources for movies, both on-campus and for download can be found at the Libraries' Online Media page. You can read more about the UNT Libraries and their assets here.

Help Desk Contact Information

Call:  940-565-2324   |  Email: helpdesk@unt.edu   Online: Help Desk Home Page  |  Come by:  Sage Hall, Room 330

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