Copyright Ownership of PublicationsCourse ReservesTEACH ActUsing Copyrighted Materials in Teaching
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Copyright Resources  

A primer on copyright and fair use.
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Basic Copyright Information


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Copyright Protection


 "Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet." -- Mark Twain.

Copyright provides legal protection to authors of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works fixed in a tangible form.  U.S. copyright law applies to works regardless of whether they are published or have been registered for copyright.  Copyright protection allows the author the following exclusive rights for a specified period of time, after which the work becomes part of the public domain:

• To reproduce the work
• To prepare derivative works based upon the work
• To distribute copies by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
• To perform the work publicly
• To display the work publicly

Copyright law is complex and allows certain exemptions for purposes of study and teaching.


    Copyright Tools

    • Fair Use Checklist
      Checklist for determining if the use of an item falls under fair use.
    • Fair Use Evaluator
      Tool to help determine and document fair use (American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy)
    • Copyright Term & Public Domain Chart
      Detailed information on copyright status of works published, sound recordings and architectural works (Cornell University).
    • Public Domain Slider
      Select a publication date on the digital slider and determine an item's copyright status. (American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy)
    • TEACH Act Checklist
      Checklist for determining if use of materials falls within requirements of TEACH Act (N.C. State University)
    • TEACH Act Toolkit
      Checklists, background information, and other information on the TEACH Act from N.C. State University.
    • Sample Letters to Request Copyright Permission
      Additional samples:

    Research Librarian

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    Gloria Colvin
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    Scholars Commons
    Strozier Library
    (850) 645-1680
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    Office Hours:
    Wednesday 3:00-5:00 @ Stone Building (LRC)
    M.S.L.S. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; M.A.T., Duke University, B.A. Duke University
    Research Interests:
    Scholarly communication; copyright;
    Areas of Responsibility:
    Head of Scholars Commons; Education librarian; Outreach to Faculty

    Scholarly Communication Librarian

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    Micah Vandegrift
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    Office Hours:
    Mon-Thur, 8:00am-5:00pm
    M.L.I.S., Florida State University, 2011; M.A., American and Florida Studies, Florida State University, 2009; B.A., Humanities, Florida State University, 2006.
    Research Interests:
    digital humanities, open access, altmetrics, archiving subcultural materials
    Areas of Responsibility:
    Scholarly Communications, Institutional Repository, open access outreach and education, copyright assistance, digital publishing

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