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Copyright: Home

Lisa Price, Rowan University SOM Health Sciences Library

Copyright Basics

 What Is Copyright?

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. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive legal right to use or authorize others' use of their works.  This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. 

These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 122 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights. In some cases, these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One such limitation is the doctrine of “fair use,” which provides for the limited use of another's work under specific circumstances. In other instances, the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which certain limited uses of copyrighted works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions.

The complete text of the copyright law is available from the United States Copyright Office, or see their summary

 

How Do Copyright Laws Affect My Research and/or Classroom Use of Copyrighted Materials?

Research and classroom use of copyrighted materials must comply with copyright law and meet the established criteria for determining "fair use". The  Library licenses extensive electronic scholarly resources (books, journals and images) for use in University educational activities. In most cases, you may use these university-wide licensed resources in your presentations and classroom materials without the need to seek copyright permission from the author or owner of the content. If you with to use materials from other sources, you must first obtain copyright permission.

For more information on this topic, see:  
What Colleges and Universities Need to Know About the Digital Millennium Copyright Act  

  

PLEASE NOTE:  THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS GUIDE IS LIMITED AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE. THIS INFORMATION MUST NOT BE RELIED ON AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR OBTAINING LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY.