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Copyright Overview & Resources

Copyright protects the creators of original literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works ( Title 17U.S. Code). The protection extends to both published and unpublished material. "Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following" (  Copyright Basics , US Copyright Office):

  • To reproduce the work
  • To prepare derivative works
  • To distribute copies of the work
  • To perform the work publicly
  • To display the work publicly

Copyright law makes it illegal for anyone to violate these rights, but the law allows for certain limitations on creators' exclusive rights:

If the above exceptions do not apply to the use of a copyrighted work, permission from the copyright owner is required. 

Getting Permission


Allyson Mower
Scholarly Communications & Copyright Librarian
 Last Modified 8/28/13