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Faculty Resources: Copyright

Copyright LibGuide


Fair Use - Copyright Title 17, § 107 of the United States Code states:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

If unsure about the copyright status of an item you would like to use in your classroom or work, please contact a librarian.  Additionally, please be aware that material on posted on ereserves and Blackboard must be copyright compliant.

Public Domain - According to, the definition is: “The public domain is not a place. A work of authorship is in the ‘public domain’ if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.”  This includes and work published before 1923 or any work that did not renew their copyright before 1978.

A/V materials - For more information on public performance, visit the American Library Association Video and Copyright page.

Creative Commons - is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.  Visit Creative Commons website for more information.