Overview of Digital Storytelling Tools and Techniques

Copyrighted Mediums


Whether in print or digital form, text is protected
by copyright. Most formats are protected, such as books, articles, Web sites and their components, as well as most types of works, such as poems, plays, novels or essays. In order to publish, duplicate, read or perform a copyrighted literary text you are required to ask for permission to use it.

Sound and Music

sound and musicSound recordings may have multiple copyright protections:

  • Protection of the recording itself -digital, CD, audiocassette- (held by producer of recording)
  • Protection of the performance
  • (held by performers on the recording)
  • Protection of the music/lyrics
  • (held by composers of music/lyrics)

Using or distributing a sound recording, such as making it digitally available through the Web, making copies, using it as a soundtrack for a film etc., requires permission of the copyright holder or the payment of royalty fees.


Images of artistic and visual works covered by the Copyright Act include: paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, architectural works, and compilations of artistic works.

Photographs have the following added conditions: commissioned photographs belong to the person or organization making the commission.

Although there are Web sites that allow free downloading of images, mostly for personal use only, many Web sites include copyrighted images. Permission to use images must be obtained from the copyright owner if the image is copyrighted.