Copyright and Fair Use - What Every Faculty Member Needs to Know

Kyle K. Courtney, MSLIS, JD.

June 10, 2020

Abstract

Copyright is the lawful right of an author, artist, composer or other creator to control the use of his or her work by others. Generally speaking, a copyrighted work may not be duplicated, disseminated, or appropriated by others without the creator's permission. The public display or performance of copyrighted works is similarly restricted.

There are exceptions to this rule—notably the fair use doctrine discussed in the following Section—but generally the unauthorized use of a copyrighted work is copyright infringement, and may subject the infringer to civil and criminal penalties under federal law.

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