Copyright is the protection provided by U.S. law for authors of “original works of authorship” once the work is in a fixed and tangible form. A work is fixed when it is in a permanent form that can be “perceived, reproduced, or communicated for more than a short time.”
Copyright provides the copyright holder with exclusive rights to reproduce, create derivative works, distribute copies to the public for sale, rental, lease, or lending, perform or display the work publicly.
For works created on or after January 1, 1978 copyright lasts the life of the author plus seventy years after the death of the author. Works made for hire or anonymous works copyright last ninety-five years from publication or one hundred and twenty years from creation, whichever is least.
U.S. Copyright Office (3/2021). Copyright Basics. https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf
Fair Use simply ensures that there are some kinds of uses that do not require permission or payment. It attempts to protect the rights of creators while still allowing some uses that can benefit society as a whole, e.g. it can encourage scholarship, debate, creativity, and innovation.
The 4 major guidelines for determining Fair Use are the following:
When determining if your use is fair you will need to balance these four factors. This fair use checklist from Columbia University can serve as a good guide when analyzing whether or not your use is likely to be considered fair.
Contact the library at email@example.com if you need to request permission from a copyright holder to use an item. We can provide you with guidance and a template to follow to request permission to use a copyrighted work.