Skip to main content
Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

Copyright Resources: Welcome

Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at Western Carolina University with an understanding of copyright law and fair use.

While copyright issues can be complex, everyone needs to understand the basics. Failure to comply with copyright law can lead to substantial legal penalties for both you and the university.

This guide also includes copyright and fair use compliance guidelines for faculty.

Your Librarian

Scottie Kapel's picture
Scottie Kapel
Contact:
Hunter Library, Room 124
828-227-3416

Copyright on Campus video by the Copyright Clearance Center

Copyright Law Defined

Copyright law, as defined in Title 17 of the United States Code, protects "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression" for a limited period. Copyright protection includes, for instance, the legal right to publish and sell literary, artistic, or musical work, and copyright protects authors, publishers and producers, and the public.  Copyright applies both to traditional media (books, records, etc.) and to digital media (electronic journals, web sites, etc.). Copyright protects the following eight categories of works:

  1. Literary works
  2. Musical works
  3. Dramatic works
  4. Pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  7. Sound recordings
  8. architectural works

Ownership of a copyrighted work includes the right to control the use of that work. Use of such work by others during the term of the copyright requires either permission from the author or reliance on the doctrine of fair use. Failure to do one or the other will expose the user to a claim of copyright infringement for which the law provides remedies including payment of money damages to the copyright owner.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This guide is created by LIBRARIAN and licensed by Western Carolina University Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included. I encourage you to license your own works under Creative Commons.