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Copyright and Fair Use: In the Classroom and Online: Home

A guide to inform faculty about copyright and fair use.

About this Guide

Welcome to the Copyright and Fair Use LibGuide!
This guide is designed to share information with faculty on copyright and fair use in an educational setting and provide guidance on finding and using materials in online, hybrid, and in-person courses.

**The information contained in this document is for general use only. It does not supply legal advice, nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.**

Title 7 U.S.C.

Copyright law is found in Title 17 of the United States Code. 

What is Copyright?

Painting from Photographs: Copyright Considerations | Seattle ... Copyright is a set of rights provided by the U.S. Constitution "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writing and Discoveries" (Article 1, Section 8, U.S. Constitution).

What does this mean? 

Copyright is a form of protection that provides a set of rights to the authors of "original works of authorship", including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, audiovisual, and certain other intellectual works. These rights are given to both published and unpublished works. It does not, however, protect ideas; it protects the expression of ideas. 

Copyright grants these exclusive rights:

  • to reproduce the work (i.e., make copies)
  • to prepare derivative works based upon the work (i.e., creating an adaptation)
  • to distribute copies to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending
  • to perform the work publicly
  • to display the work publicly 
  • to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission 

Copyright can be transferred in part or all to another person or entity (like a publisher) with written consent. 


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Jeannette Glover
Russell Learning Resource Center
23235 N. County Highway 22
Canton, IL 61520
(309) 649-6603

Creator Attribution

Created by Marla Turgeon
Updated by Jeannette Glover (July 2020)