Copyright can be complicated
Copyright is the cornerstone of academic work – it encompasses many aspects of scholarship and creative activities. But copyright can be complicated – is there a way to make it easier to understand? This site provides guidance in understanding the basic information on copyright for academic work and teaching.
Things to remember:
- Copyright is the law and terms are established by bills.
- Copyright gives specific rights to the owner.
- Ownership of copyright is not always clear, and can be transferred with little documentation.
- There are exceptions to what works can be copyrighted and when a copyrighted work can used without permission. Most of these exceptions are specific to certain situations.
The primary objective of copyright is not to reward the labor of authors, but '[t]o
promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.' To this end, copyright assures authors
the right to their original expression, but encourages others to build freely upon
the ideas and information conveyed by a work. This result is neither unfair nor unfortunate.
It is the means by which copyright advances the progress of science and art.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co.
499 US 340, 349(1991)
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Questions? Contact the Libraries' Scholarly Communications Officer: Elizabeth Brown, (607) 777-4882.
This work is licensed by Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0.