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Copyright Resources

About this Guide

The Copyright Guide is an entry point for students, faculty, and staff who have informational questions about their research, course assignments, and other creative work. None of the information or links provided should be substituted for the advice of an attorney.

U.S. Copyright Law

Copyright Law in Academic Libraries:

Copyright and the Public Domain

U.S. Copyright law offers copyright owners and specific amount of time. Some materials are in the public domain, which means the copyright term has expired or never existed and the intellectual property is not owned or controlled by any person or entity. Works in the public domain can be used freely, but you must still properly cite them. 

Fair Use

Fair use, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law, allows users of copyrighted works the right to exercise without permission some of the rights normally reserved for copyright owners. Determining what might be considered a fair use in court can be an uncertain process, but these tools can assist you in assessing your use of a copyrighted work. 

Remember, Fair Use is a guideline, not a rule. Use these tools to help you evaluate your usage, and keep documentation of your evaluation process and checklists for future reference. 


Content from this guide was adapted from Cindy Kristoff's guide at Kent State University Libraries