Glossary of Copyright & Trademark Terms

Last updated: 05/14/2021 5:10 PM

  • Attribution Caption — A caption is brief (usually one-line) explanatory text about a published image, usually appearing directly below the image within a web page, document, or slide.†
  • Commercial ‘Stock’ Images — Photographs, illustrations, icons, and clip art sold via licensing agreements by companies for use in publications.  Examples include Adobe Stock, Getty Images, iStock, and Shutterstock. 
  • Copyrights — Copyrights are a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself. Copyrights tend to be "territorial," and so do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction and vary by country. Owners of copyrights can  authorise or prohibit: reproduction, distribution, public performance, broadcasting, translation, adaptation, and display of the work.†
  • Creative Commons —  The Creative Commons is an American non-profit organization and international network devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow authors of creative works to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators. An easy-to-understand one-page explanation of rights, with associated visual symbols, explains the specifics of each Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it.†
  • Derivative Works — In copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major copyrightable elements of an original, previously created first work (i.e., the underlying work). The derivative work becomes a second, separate work independent in form from the first. The transformation, modification or adaptation of the work must be substantial and bear its author's personality sufficiently to be original and thus protected by copyright. Translations, cinematic adaptations and musical arrangements are common types of derivative works. Most countries' legal systems seek to protect both original and derivative works. They grant authors the right to prohibit the production of derivative works from their originals. Deritive work authors benefit, likewise, from the full protection of copyright for their own versions.†
  • Fair Use — Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works by allowing as a defense to copyright infringement claims certain limited uses that might otherwise be considered infringement.†
  • Likeness, of a Person — This is a term found in privacy law. It refers to the name of a person, an image of the person, the sound of their voice, and their signature. 
  • OA / Open Access —  Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. This is often accomplished by applying an open license for copyright. The main focus of the open access movement is 'peer reviewed research literature.' Historically, this has centered mainly on academic journals. Whereas conventional (non-open access) journals cover publishing costs through access tolls such as subscriptions, site licenses or pay-per-view charges, open-access journals are characterised by funding models which do not require the reader to pay to read the journal's contents or they rely on public funding.†
  • OER / Open Educational Resources —  Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. The term OER describes publicly accessible materials and resources for any user to use, re-mix, improve and redistribute under some licenses.†
  • Public Domain — The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. As such, all works in the public domain may be freely used, copied, distributed, displayed, performed, or altered without restriction or fear of infringement.†
  • Reverse Image Search —  A reverse image search consists of uploading an existing image sample to a web site which then uses that sample to produce a list of matching images on other web sites, and their web addresses. The results can be sorted by date in order to permit the user to ascertain the image's point of origination.
  • Royalty-Free — Royalty-free (RF) works are subject to copyright or other intellectual property rights, but may be used without the need to pay royalties, or fees, for each use, per each copy or volume sold or some time period of use or sales.†  Not all "royalty-free" images are free. Some commercial 'stock' image web sites sell licenses for "royalty-free" images via flat fees. To find images which are completely free and unrestricted, please visit the CLEAR Usable Works page.
  • Service mark —  A service mark or servicemark is a trademark used in the United States and several other countries to identify a service rather than a product.†
  • Social Media — Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. There are some common features of social media, including: user-generated content—-such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos; user-created service-specific profiles; the development of online social networks by connecting a user's profile with those of other individuals or groups; and interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications.†
  • Stock Images — SEE: “Commercial ‘Stock’ Images” definition above. 
  • TEACH Act — The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002 is a law passed by U.S. Congress. The importance of the TEACH Act extends previous copyright laws, that allow educators to copy documents or use copyrighted materials in a face-to-face classroom setting, to the online setting. It clarifies what uses are permissible with regard to distance education. Furthermore, the TEACH Act outlines what requirements the information technology staff, instructors, and students of a university must abide by in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act.†
  • Trademarks — A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.†


† - Sourced from Wikipedia, which is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.