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Copyright Guide

Provides guidance to faculty and students regarding the use of copyrighted materials for educational and research purposes.

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, regardless of the format (books, records, cassettes, VHS tapes, CDs, etc.), and to digital media (electronic journals, websites, etc.).

Copyright protects the following eight categories of works:

  • literary works
  • musical works
  • dramatic works
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • 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.

To learn more, watch the video, Copyright on Campus, made available by the global rights licensing experts at Copyright Clearance Center.

Understanding Copyright Issues

The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at Coastal Pines Technical College 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 CPTC.

This guide also includes copyright and fair use compliance checklists and guidelines for faculty.

Portions of this guide were borrowed the LibGuide, Copyright Basics, New York University Libraries

Statement for Online Classrooms

CPTC online course websites may contain materials protected by copyright under Title 17 of the United States Code. Such material is used for educational purposes in accordance with copyright law, Fair Use exemptions, and/or permission given by owners of the original material.

Students may download a copy of these materials for non-commercial, personal, or educational purposes only. Beyond this use, no material from the course website may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way without the permission of the original copyright holder.

Instructors assume no responsibility for individuals who improperly use copyrighted material placed on the website. 

Copyright on Campus Video

Copyright on Campus

This video by the Copyright Clearance Center explains how copyright law should be followed in higher education.