Producing Guidelines & Copyright
OTN strives to establish and maintain professional standards appropriate to a college student organization in program production and content, and suitable to an educational access channel general audience. Producers are expected to ensure that the program content remains within the generally accepted bounds of good taste and fair play. If students are uncertain how to deal with program content or treatment, discussion with the General Manager of OTN is encouraged.
News and public affairs on OTN are free of censorship and advance approval of copy, and the editors and managers are free to develop editorial policies and news coverage that are consistent with station goals and policies. Student editors have the authority to make content decisions and consequently they bear the responsibility for the decisions that they make. OTN follows professional best practices in its public affairs coverage, as found in the Radio-Television News Directors Association’s Code of Ethics at www.rtnda.org. Ethics guidelines for specific coverage situations may also be accessed at the RTNDA site.
Lewd, defamatory or shock material – Producer are responsible for the content of their programming and are trusted to have the judgment and maturity to recognize when material is questionable. OTN does not telecast obscene or indecent material – that which is patently offensive applying contemporary community standards or defamatory content – a malicious falsehood intended to ridicule or degrade persons. In this regard, unless it is absolutely critical to the storyline, out of context use of vulgar language is NOT ALLOWED.
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.
It is a common misunderstanding that because OTN is part of an educational institution there are different and more lenient rules for copyright. This is simply not true. The same copyright rules that apply for cable and broadcast networks as well as local network affiliates apply to OTN.
Anything you plan on using in your show that you do not create yourself is subject to copyright laws. This includes music, photographs, video clips, voices and so forth. During the program proposal process the General Manager will discuss this with you but you should learn more about this topic yourself. A very good reference for more information about copyright can be found at www.copyright.gov.