Copyright and the Perioperative Nurse
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Every time a perioperative nurse gives a patient printed instructions to take home, that nurse is involved with issues related to copyright. When a person makes photocopies to share with others, downloads a file or graphic to use at work, provides handouts at an in-service or a class, or writes for publication, the person is involved with copyright regulations. A basic understanding of why copyright exists, what it involves, and how it impacts the health care provider is important. Knowledge of the opportunities related to copyright fair use allows some flexibility. Failure to abide by copyright regulations can financially impact both the provider and the institution where the provider works. Using this knowledge can protect the nurse from lawsuits.