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Dacus Library advocates for and supports education about copyright and fair use of works that support teaching, learning, research, and creativity. We also support open access to scholarly resources and authors' rights to distribute their works. Copyright can be complicated, and the Winthrop community should be familiar with the basics of copyright as it pertains to teaching, learning, research, and creative works and output. Information in this guide should not be considered legal advice. Review Winthrop's full Copyright Policy.
The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PDF) (DMCA) amends the Copyright Act of 1976 and establishes certain limitations of copyright infringement liability for online service providers (OSPs), including colleges and universities, when certain requirements are met. Other provisions include prohibitions on circumvention of technological protection measures.
U.S. Copyright Law defines copyright as "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression." Copyright owners have exclusive rights to:
These rights are subject to exceptions and limitations, such as a fair use provision that allows limited uses of works without permission from the copyright holder.
Copyrighted works must be original and recorded in some permanent way that lasts for more than a short amount of time. The follow are examples of protected work:
Copyright does not protect*:
*Learn more about unprotected works.
Source: Copyright Basics, U.S. Copyright Office Circular 1