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Copyright: A Resource Guide

This guide is designed to help faculty navigate the laws and best practices of copyright issues.

Exclusive Rights of a Copyright Holder

Copyright Holders have exclusive rights to the following:

  1. To REPRODUCE the work
  2. To prepare DERIVATIVE works
  3. To DISTRIBUTE copies of the work
  4. To PUBLICLY PERFORM the work
  5. To PUBLICLY DISPLAY the work
  6. To PUBLICLY PERFORM the work by means of a digital audio transmission.

US Code §106: Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

What is Copyright?

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a means of protecting intellectual property.  Its purpose was to promote creativity and invention by protecting the rights of artists, inventors, writers, and anyone creating original works.  As stated in the Constitution: 

"The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

(United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8)

Title 17 of the United States Code contains the laws pertaining to Copyright in the United States.

What can be Copyrighted?

The following works are subject to copyright:

  • Literary Works
  • Musical Works
  • Dramatic Works
  • Motion Pictures/Movies
  • Sound Recordings
  • Pantomimes
  • Buildings and Architectural Works
  • Images and Sculptural Works

Works that CANNOT be copyrighted include:

  • Facts/Ideas
  • Works in the Public Domain
  • Works published by the Federal Government


Podcasts, Tweets, & More

Want more information on copyright?  Keep up-to-date with these great resources.