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Copyright in Academe: Copyright Law

Copyright @ Fontbonne University


copyright symbolThe purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at Fontbonne University 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.

This guide addresses copyright, fair use, public domain, the TEACH Act, peer-to-peer file sharing and University policy information for faculty, staff, and students.

Featured Resource: LISTA

Other Considerations

E-mail, blogs, wikis, and other digital content are copyright protected and may require permission for any use beyond Fair Use. Just because it's ONLINE doesn't mean it's free to use.

LibGuides @ Fontbonne

Other Guides you might find useful:

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.

Here's a link to Title 17 if you'd like to read it:

Subject Librarian

Jane Theissen
Jack C. Taylor Library
LB 102

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