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Copyright: Where to Begin

Guide for using copyrighted materials for students and faculty.

Start Here

Here are a few steps to help you figure out where to start.

First, determine if you are dealing with copyrighted work.

  • Is the work in the Public Domain? Most works created before 1923 fall in this category.

If the work is copyrighted, determine if the work is licensed by the University.

If the work is not in the public domain or licensed for use, determine if there is a legal exemption to copyright law for your use. Examples include:

  • Media in the Classroom - Section 110-1 covers classroom performance and display
  • TEACH Act - Section 110-2 covers digital transmissions for performance and display
  • DCMA exemptions

If the copyrighted work is not licensed or covered by an exemption, run a Fair Use analysis.

If your work does not fall under any of the above, you need to seek permission to use it, which may require paying royalties.