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Copyright: OVERVIEW


The initial owner of the copyright is the person who does the creative work (with a few exceptions).  Works receive automatic copyright protection at the time they are created. You are not required to place a notice of copyright on the work or register it.  Works that are original, published or unpublished, such as: a novel, poem, painting, photograph, film, digital item, industrial design or other type of created work are copyrighted.  

Copyright protects OWNERS RIGHTS to :     

  • Reproduce works   
  • Create derivatives    
  • Distribute the work                            
  • Perform and display to the public


FAIR USE protects USERS RIGHTS to freely use or reproduce a copyrighted work and is comprised of 4 factors:

  • Purpose & character of the use
  • Nature of the work used
  • Amount of the work used
  • Effect on the marketplace

FAIR USE CHECKLIST   Columbia University Libraries


COPYRIGHT and FAIR USE   Overview of copyright with additional resources. Stanford University Libraries.

COPYRIGHT QUICK GUIDE    Overview of copyright from fundamentals, fair use, and resources. Columbia University Libraries

U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE   Basic information, FAQs, and a site for teachers and students


All Content CC-BY.