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Copyright: Copyright Law

Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at ASU with an understanding of copyright law and fair use.

While copyright issues can be complex, everyone needs to understand the basics. Failure to comply with copyright law can lead to substantial legal penalties for both you and the university.

Copyright in Academia

The Association of Research Libraries provides Resources for Teaching Faculty mostly related to the use of copyright works in the classroom.

The University of Texas at Austin offers a Copyright Crash Course covering topics related to copyright in academia.

ASU Copyright Policy

The UNC system Patent and Copyright Policies are intended to guide the ASU community in complying with all applicable laws, the responsible exercise of full fair use rights, and individual and University copyright ownership.

Your Librarian

Paul Orkiszewski
Contact:
828 262 6588
Subjects:Copyright

Copyright on Campus Video by Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Law Defined

Copyright law, as defined in Title 17 of the United States Code, protects "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression" for a limited period. Copyright protection includes, for instance, the legal right to publish and sell literary, artistic, or musical work, and copyright protects authors, publishers and producers, and the public.  Copyright applies both to traditional media (books, records, etc.) and to digital media (electronic journals, web sites, etc.). Copyright protects the following eight categories of works:

  1. literary works
  2. musical works
  3. dramatic works
  4. pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  7. sound recordings
  8. architectural works

Ownership of a copyrighted work includes the right to control the use of that work. Use of such work by others during the term of the copyright requires either permission from the author or reliance on the doctrine of fair use. Failure to do one or the other will expose the user to a claim of copyright infringement for which the law provides remedies including payment of money damages to the copyright owner.