Welcome to the Copyright LibGuide! This guide is designed to share information on copyright and fair use in an educational setting and provide guidance on finding and using materials in online, hybrid, and in-person courses.
For additional information please see the Copyright FAQ.
Copyright is a set of rights provided by the U.S. Constitution "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writing and Discoveries" (Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution).
So what does this mean?
Copyright provides a set of rights to the authors of "original works", which can include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, audiovisual, and other works like software. These rights are given to works regardless of publishing status, so published and unpublished works are granted these rights, upon creation. It does not, however, protect ideas; it protects the expression of ideas.
Copyright grants these exclusive rights:
Copyright can be transferred in part or all to another person or entity (like a publisher) with written consent.
Some exceptions do apply, like fair use. If a person uses copyrighted material, where exceptions do not apply and without permission from the author, the user could be held liable for copyright infringement. Read through the "Exceptions" tab to learn more about the exceptions to copyright.