This is the "Introduction to Copyright" page of the "Copyright, Fair Use & Open Access" guide.
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Copyright, Fair Use & Open Access   Tags: copyright, education, fair use, publishing, research, scholarly communication, training  

This guide provides an outline of US copyright law with links to educational resources. Talbot Research Library makes every effort to assure that this information is accurate, but does not act as counsel or provide legal advice.
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction to Copyright Print Page

Introduction to Copyright

What is copyright?

Copyright refers to the creator's (writer's, photographer's, artist's, film producer's, composer's, and programmer's) exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, and publicly perform and display their works. These rights may be transferred or assigned in whole or in part in writing by the creator. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, work created by an employee is usually owned by the employer.

Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."
-U.S. Copyright Act, U.S. Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Sect. 102(a)

Understanding copyright law is becoming increasingly important. With today's technology, accessing, reproducing, and disseminating information has never been easier, and neither has violating copyright law. In fact, many of use do it without even realizing it. However, getting caught either intentionally or unintentionally violating intellectual property rights can lead to serious legal consequences. Follow the links below to learn more about copyright law.


Fun with Copyright: BOUND BY LAW?

Cover of comic, superhero with video camera and creative commons shield Bound by Law translates law into plain English and abstract ideas into ‘visual metaphors.’ Akiko, our heroine, brandishes a laser gun as she fends off the cyclopean Rights Monster; all the while learning copyright law basics, including the line between fair use and copyright infringement.

Available as a free download from Duke University.

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