Images of all sorts--photographs, prints, paintings, illustrations, diagrams, graphs, maps, film, videos, digital or not--are protected by copyright just as other materials are.
Music that is fixed in a tangible form--sheet music, scores, written notes, any sort of recording, whether analog or digital--is protected by copyright just as other materials are.
NOTE: If you are dealing with photos or video of people, you may also need to consider privacy rights. The University requires written consent from anyone included in an image.
A license is a legal agreement between you and your software publisher. The license spells out what you can and cannot do with the software. It might specify the number of computers on which the software may be installed or address resale rights. Software may include a validation feature as a check on proper use. There are several categories of software and licenses:
Is reverse engineering of software legal?
This is an unsettled, technical and tricky area of law. Certainly the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits overriding TPMs (technological protection measures) that prevent access to copyrighted work. As shown in the 2004 Lexmark case, however, Static Control Components successfully reverse engineered a chip to work with Lexmark printers, with no consequences. Lexmark failed in its claim that this action circumvented its TPMs. However, no two cases are alike. The situational details of the Lexmark case present an interesting outcome, but the technical details in other cases may yield the opposite result. To read more about this case involving software copyrights and what defines TPMs, see Arstechnica or full 32 page opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th District.
Are there any exemptions in the law regarding software?
Every three years the Copyright Office issues exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. These exemptions address computer programs, DVDs, ebooks, film and more. These are listed as “Exemptions to Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works.” View the exemptions made since 2000. Read these to find out what is legal. You can also send your comments on newly proposed rules.
(Carol Simpson, Copyright for Administrators. 2008.)
Nothing on this guide is to be construed as legal advice. These pages are intended to provide information and guidance in the application of copyright law and to expand on the University of Missouri System Collected Rules and Regulations.
Thanks to Miller Nichols Library of UMKC for permission to reuse material from their Copyright guide.