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The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at UW-Parkside with an understanding of copyright law and fair use.
While copyright issues can be complex, understanding the basics helps avoid legal penalties for both you and the university.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to replace the advice of legal counsel and should not be taken as legal advice.
What is copyright?
The goal of copyright law, as grounded in the U.S. Constitution, is to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.
Copyright is a form of protection granted to authors that provides them with certain exclusive rights for a limited period of time. These rights are intended to encourage authors to create, thereby providing society with valuable works.
The limitation on the length of copyright (as well as other limitations such as fair use) balances the benefits of incentives for authors with the benefits of allowing the public to make use of copyrighted materials in a free and democratic society.
A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone.
Works fall into the public domain for three main reasons:
See Copyright Term & the Public Domain created by Cornell librarians to determine whether a work falls into public domain.
The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and authorize the following:
Copyright protection covers both published and unpublished works as well as out-of-print materials.
UW-System General Counsel on Copyright
In addition to the full text of the Copyright Law of the United States, a great deal of additional information on copyright can be found on the website of the United States Copyright Office.
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