Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Services for Faculty

Library Services for the faculty.

What is Copyright?

What is Copyright?

Copyright law provides protection for creators of "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression, now  know or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. (Title 17 U.S. Code) 

Copyright is the right of an author, artist, composer or other creator to control the use of his or her work by others. 

For a work to be protected by copyright law, it must be an idea that ben expressed and fixed in some sort of medium. It must meet these three criteria to be protected.  

  1. Original: The author must have created it rather than copied it. 
  2. Authorship: It must show some creative was expressed by the creator. 
  3. Fixed: It must be expressed on something tangible (paper, video tape, canvas, etc).

What is Protected by Copyright? 

It protects items originally created that are both published and unpublished. All creative work in the US is proetected by copyright automatically as soon as they are created. They are not required to have the copyright symbol.  

  • Literacy Works 
  • Dramatic Works 
  • Musical Works 
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works; 
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works; 
  • Sound recordings; 
  • Architectural works; 
  • Software. 

This is not an all inclusive list of items protected by copyright. 

As Copyright Owner What are Your Rights?

With ownership of the copyrighted material you have six specific rights:

  1. To make copies of the work. 
  2. To make derivative of the work. 
  3. To distribute copies of the work. 
  4. To publicly perform the work. 
  5. To publicly display the work. 
  6. To perform the work publicly.  

Academic Exceptions

Different parts of the Copyright Act provide for academic exceptions regarding the use of copyright-protected materials by academic institutions 

Section 107: Fair Use 

Makes exceptions for the reproductions for some classroom materials and the creation of parodies. 

Section 108: Reproduction by Libraries and Archives 

Relates to activities such as archiving, replacement of lost, damaged, or obsolete copies, and interlibrary loans. 

Section 109: First Sale 

Relates to the resale or lending of copies of works. 

Section 110: Use of Materials in an Educational Setting 

Allows for performances and displays in face-to-face teaching within academic institutions.