A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States
for "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic,
musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic,
pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. "Copyright"
literally means the right to copy, but has come to mean that body of
exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of
their work. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure,
process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names,
titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of
typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents
or ingredients are not subject to copyright.
and from which the work can
be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or
with the aid of a machine or device.
The material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the copyrighted
work is first fixed,
The copyright notice consists of three elements. They are the
"c" in a circle (©), the year of first publication, and the name of the
owner of copyright. A copyright notice is no longer legally required to
secure copyright on works first published on or after March 1, 1989, but
it does provide legal benefits.
the public domain?
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.
Fair use is a limited doctrine providing for certain exceptions when
permission is not required to use portions of copyrighted works.
To publish a work is to distribute copies or media of the work to the
public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or
lending. Publication also includes offering to distribute copies or
media to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public
performance, or public display. A public performance or display of a
work does not of itself constitute publication.
Something that has received commercial value by being
created mentally or intellectually, such as literature, art,
business methods, industrial processes, and so on.
Compulsory (or statutory) license
A license defined by U.S. law to use material in a
reasonable and non-discriminatory way without consulting the
copyright holders with each use.
The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act signed
into U.S. law in November 2002. It stipulates how copyrighted
content may be used in distance education. It also spells out
how the university, faculty, staff, and students must behave and
not behave to be in compliance with the law when so using the
Please note the following disclaimer:
This website should not be construed as a
substitute for legal advice, nor does it guarantee complete
accuracy or comprehensiveness on the subject
of copyright. Please consult an attorney for specific