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Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright- Quick Start

copyright  According to the U.S. Copyright Office: Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) 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 This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

  • Reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the work
  • Distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
  • Perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audio­-visual works
  • Display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
  • Perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission 

Exemptions for Academia

The Copyright Act contains some specific exceptions for the use of copyright-protected materials by academic institutions. These provisions include:

Section 107 on fair use, which applies to activities such as the use of excerpts for illustration or comment; the unexpected and spontaneous reproduction of classroom materials, and the creation of parodies.

Section 108 on reproduction by libraries and archives, which applies to activities such as archiving; replacing lost, damaged or obsolete copies; patron requests for entire works; and interlibrary loans.

Section 109 on first sale, which permits the resale or lending of copies of works, providing the basis for library lending and the sale of used books.

Section 110 on the use of materials in an educational setting, which permits certain types of content use in the classroom and in distance education.

What About Articles from Interlibrary Services/Course Reserves

Articles received through Interlibrary Services from another library are licensed for single use only. This means they cannot legally be duplicated or posted online.  For course reserves, printed journal articles or photocopies can only be used for one (1) semester. Consider linking to the Journal article via our e-Reserves