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Copyright and Fair Use Guide

Copyright and Fair Use Frequently Asked Questions Home CC BY-NC Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Table of Contents Copyright

Copyright is actually a bundle of rights associated with creative intellectual property. These rights include:

  • the right to produce the work        Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Copyright
  • to prepare derivative works
  • to distribute copies
  • to perform the work
  • to display the work publicly

 

In the United States, copyright is automatically granted once the work is fixed in a medium. The medium can include word processing software like Microsoft Word or online blogging platforms like WordPress, Tumblr, and Twitter.  U.S. copyright law is covered in Title 17 of the U.S Code. For more detail on the current U.S. copyright law, view Title 17 in its entirety at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/ or at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17.

To learn more about copyright, visit our Copyright & Fair Use Tutorial.

Fair Use

 Fair use is a compromise between copyright law and the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. It allows use of portions of copyrighted work without requiring permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is most often used for purposes such as parody or satire, criticism, teaching, and reporting the news.

Fair use is defined in Section 107 of U.S. copyright law. Four factors are considered when determining the fair use of copyrighted materials.

  1. the purpose and character of the use;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Fair use checklists are available to help you conduct an evaluation of your intended use of copyrighted material and document your decision. One such checklist can be found at http://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/.

 

Public Domain

Works said to be in the public domain are works that are not subject to copyright laws and are available for the public without seeking permissions or licenses. Intellectual work enters the public domain mainly through three ways: copyright has expired, copyright is inapplicable, or copyright has been forfeited (for example, a creator can will their work to the public).

 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides a free licensing system that provide a simple, standardized way for creators to give the public permission to share and use their creative work — on conditions of their choice. You can find works licensed in this way through a Creative Commons search. Just remember: Even though it’s free to use these works, you must follow the terms of the license and cite your sources!

 

Watch the video below to learn more about Creative Commons.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Commons 8 - Permissions

Permissions

sample permissions letter

If you are unsure if your use of copyrighted material meets criteria laid out in the four-factor analysis, you can always ask for permission from a copyright holder to use their work.

To the left is a model permissions letter from Duke University Libraries. Click on the letter to download a Word Document version that you can explore, modify, and use yourself. Keep in mind that this is only a sample letter and specific situations will require slightly different language or documents.

License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

FAQs about Copyright and Fair Use for Students Students FAQs Table of Contents

 

FAQs

What is the difference between copyright and plagiarism?

Copyright addresses legal considerations such as who -- if anyone -- owns the rights to use a digital file, text document, etc. The copyright status of an item determines whether and how a student can use it for an academic project. Copyright infringement has legal consequences.

Avoiding plagiarism is part of the culture of scholarship in which credible ideas build upon each other through a path that can be traced and verified by other readers and future researchers. Researchers cite their sources to give credit to authors of original ideas and to allow others to trace those ideas to earlier work, to learn details of the history of the idea. Plagiarism is a matter of scholarly ethics. For more information, see University Library tutorial "Exploring Academic Integrity".

What do I need to know about topics such as copyright and file sharing computer systems to protect myself legally and ethically while using information resources at Indiana University?

See an overview of "IT-Safety" topics at page "Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and copyright safety".

I am developing a multimedia project, writing a dissertation, etc. How can I determine if the materials I want to include are copyrighted? How can I determine if I can use copyrighted material?

You are free to use works that fall within the public domain. Otherwise your work must either fall under an exception of copyright law, be permitted by the copyright owner, or fall under fair use.

You can use Student Tools resources "Public Domain Slider", "Fair Use Evaluator", and "Copyright Genie" to determine any limits of use for materials. Your program's subject librarian and subject resource guide can assist and support you with these and other research tasks.

How can I find and cite media resources to use for a class project without violating copyright laws?

See the following library guides:

Student Tools

Public domain resources are items such as images, videos, sound files, etc. which you can use for various purposes, including academic projects, without paying copyright fees.

Fair Use is an exception to copyright law that may allow you to use a copyrighted item for certain purposes without obtaining permission.

Use the Copyright Genie to establish a record to show, if needed in the future, that you investigated your right to use an item.

To use someone else's work, you also need to cite it. See University Library DIY Resource page

Find media content that you may be able to share, use and remix. Media creators can adopt a Creative Commons license agreement to specify if they are willing to allow their resource to be used in certain ways for free. Use Creative Commons' "Use and Remix" tool to search for media files from a group of independent organizations. See the tip at lower left of search page: "Please note..." to "... verify that the work is actually under a CC license...". 

License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

FAQS about Copyright and Fair Use for Faculty and Staff Faculty and Staff FAQs Table of Contents

Canvas and Online Education


Getting Permissions


Authors Negotiating Copyright


Authors Sharing Your Published Works


Additional Resources

FAQs: Canvas and Online Education

I would like to upload an article or chapter to Canvas or another website for a class that I'm teaching. Do I need permission from the publisher? What are my options?

Every use of copyrighted material in a course management website should be evaluated as a fair use. When a fair use analysis does not support the use, either permission should be sought or some other material that is not subject to copyright substituted. In general, material that could not be used in print without permission also may not be used in a course web site without permission.

Fair use checklists are available to help you conduct an evaluation of your intended use of copyrighted material and document your decision. One such checklist can be found at http://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/.

I would like to show a video to my class. What do I need to know before I do this?

Educators can show a copyrighted film or portions of a film in a classroom without seeking permission from the copyright holders. This right, however, does not extend without complications to courseware and other tools of online education.

Digitizing a film makes an additional copy of that work which is not created when you simply show the film in class, and that digital copy, because it is so cheap and easy to distribute (or "stream") over the internet, poses a real threat to the copyright holder’s interests.

For this reason, the teaching exception to copyright that allows you to put film clips into a course management site – the TEACH Act – is more restrictive than the face to face exception.

The TEACH Act allows the “transmission” of digital works only in systems that are restricted to students registered in the class. It permits distribution of “reasonable and limited” portions of films, provided that reasonable steps are taken to prevent students from making more copies or retaining a copy of the film clip beyond the duration of the class.

The TEACH Act also requires users to avoid over riding or breaking technical protection measures ("Digital Rights Management") to stream works.

Learn more about the TEACH act and distance education at: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright/teachact

 

Content adapted from:

Duke University Libraries, Duke ScholarWorks. Copyright Advice: https://scholarworks.duke.edu/copyright-advice/ [BY-NC-SA]

FAQs: Getting Permissions

I would like to reuse an image, figure, model, or diagram in a work that I am submitting for publication. Do I need permission from the copyright holders?

Complete a fair use analysis before seeking permission: http://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/.

If you are unsure if your use of copyrighted material meets criteria laid out in the four-factor fair use analysis, you can always ask for permission from a copyright holder to use their work.

This model permissions letter from Duke University Libraries provides a Word Document that you can explore, modify, and use yourself. Keep in mind that this is only a sample letter and specific situations will require slightly different language or documents.

FAQs: Authors Negotiating Copyright

Do I have to give my copyright to a publisher?

Not always. Academic publishers have traditionally required that authors transfer (or “assign”) their copyright to the publishers. But it is becoming more common for a publisher to accept a “non-exclusive license” to publisher your work. In that case, you would retain the copyright and be able to make subsequent uses of your own work without permission.

Even when you do transfer your copyright to a publisher, it is possible to retain rights to make certain uses of your work. It is important to read publication agreements carefully and to be ready to negotiate with publishers when necessary.

If my publication agreement gives the copyright to the publisher, can I still use my own work?

Not necessarily. If you have transfer all of your rights to the publishers, putting your own work on a website or distributing copies at a scholarly conference, for example, might actually infringe the copyright, which is now owned by the publisher. This is why it is important to be careful about the publication agreement that you sign. Remember that these agreements are negotiable.

What rights should I retain when I publish a work?

One thing many faculty want to do is to use their own work in class, even after it has been published. The right to reproduce and distribute your work for non-commercial educational purposes should be retained. Likewise the right to prepare or authorize derivative works like a new article based on previous scholarship, a collection of prior writings or a translation is valuable for scholars. Also, the right to post your article on a personal web site or to place it in a repository maintained by your institution or disciplinary organization is becoming increasingly important. Studies indicate that open access actually increases the visibility and citation of your work, so retaining the right to provide such access can be very beneficial.

 

Content adapted from:

Duke University Libraries, Duke ScholarWorks. Copyright Advice: https://scholarworks.duke.edu/copyright-advice/ [BY-NC-SA]

FAQs: Authors Sharing Your Published Works

I would like to upload my published article to an open website. How can I do this without violating the terms of my copyright agreement?

Most journal publishers (including Elsevier, SAGE, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley) permit authors to upload the accepted manuscript (after peer review, but prior to copyediting) in institutional repositories (such as IUPUI ScholarWorks: https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/) at no cost to the author. Over 80% of the world’s 1.1 million articles published in 2010 could be archived under current copyright law within one year of publication (Laakso, M. 2014, Scientometrics, In Press. http://www.openaccesspublishing.org/?p=146).

Furthermore, as of October 7, 2014, IUPUI faculty authors have retained their copyrights to the scholarly articles under the IUPUI Open Access Policy. To excercise your rights under the Open Access Policy or to request a waiver for a publisher, visit: https://openaccess.iupui.edu/

How do I know if my publisher permits me to share my published work on an open website?

Read your copyright transfer agreement, search for self-archiving policy on the publisher's website, or visit SHERPA/RoMEO, a database of copyright policies: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.php

Additional Resources

 Web Resources

 Books (IUCAT)

 Multimedia

 

License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

FAQs about Copyright and Fair Use for Community Members Community Users FAQs Table of Contents

 



 

FAQ

Who has copyright to the archives?  What about your digital collections?

Copyright varies depending on the specific collection.  Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives has copyright for many, but not all, of its collections.  We plan to edit finding aids (our collection descriptions) to reflect the copyright status of our collections, but until that is finished, the best way to determine copyright is to email speccoll@iupui.edu.

It's a bit easier to determine copyright for most of the digital digital collections (both ours and the Center for Digital Scholarships) that are available here.  When you click on the thumbnail of a particular picture of document, there are a series of fields that contain information about the item and the collection to which it belongs.  See the red circle on the sample below:

 

How can I get a copy of a photograph from your digital collections to use in a presentation or publication?

You must contact the copyright holder for permission to use photographs (see the screenshot above for a simple way to know who holds copyright).  If the copyright holder is listed as the "Trustees of Indiana University," you can contact Special Collections at speccoll@iupui.edu.  All requests require you to fill out this form.  Costs will vary depending on the number of photos, the specific use, and whether or not the images are being used by nonprofit organizations.

Can I get a copy of a photograph for personal use?

In most cases, you can get a copy of a photograph for personal use, which does not include publication of any kind.  Please contact IUPUI Special Collections at speccoll@iupui.edu to ask about the specific photo(s) you're interested in. All requests require you to fill out this form. There is no publication fee, however, scanning fees may apply if the photograph has not already been digitized.  We do not currently provide physical prints, but many stores offer printing services for scanned photographs.

How do I cite information from the archives or from the library's digital collections?

The finding aids for our collections provide a template for citation, that usually looks something like this:  New Farmers of America Records, 1929-1965, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis.

Citations will vary based on the type of citation required in your field or for your project and the type of object being cited.  The Library of Congress provides examples for Chicago, MLA, and APA styles for the most common types of resources.

Does copyright mean that I can't quote documents from the archives?

Fair use allows you to quote excerpts from archival materials with proper attribution.  Use the Fair Use Evaluator to determine whether or not your use may be considered fair use.

License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Guide ID: 
470288
URL: 
https://iupui.libguides.com/copyright
Updated Sep 25, 2020 by Webmaster