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Copyright Basics

Attention
The U.S. Copyright Law is law; therefore, librarians cannot make any attempt to explain or interpret the law. This material was assembled as a finding aid; responsibility for infringement rests with the end user.
"[...]copyright assures authors the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon the ideas and information conveyed by a work."
- Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Feist Publications, Inc. vs. Rural Telephone Service Co., 499 US 340, 349 (1991).

What is copyright?

What are a copyright owner's rights?

How does one know whether a work is copyrighted?

How long does copyright protection last?

How does one register a copyright?

How does one get permission to use a copyrighted work?

How do educators get by with using copyrighted works?

How does copyright affect distance education?

What are the consequences of copyright infringement?

What is the phrase one places on copyrighted works being copied?