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Copyright and Fair Use: Copyright

**This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel**

Simply Put ...

Copyright is protection provided by law (title 17, U.S. Code) and is automatically applicable to anyone who:


Produces a work in tangible form that can be either seen, read, or heard

Can prove originality

Demonstrates the work is created with at least a minimal level of creativity


Types of works protected by copyright include:

literary works -- musical works -- dramatic works -- choreographic works -- pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works -- sound recordings -- architectural works


What is not protected by copyright?

facts or ideas -- titles, names, short phrases, or slogans -- procedures, methods, systems or processes -- works of the United States government -- works that have passed into the public domain


In the Beginning...

Did You Know?

The authority to establish Copyright Law comes from the US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8?

One major purpose of Copyright Law is to “promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts”?

Copyright law is an attempt to balance public interest with the rights of the individual author/creator?

U.S. Copyright Law

Subject to section 106, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Copyright Law

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Essay: How Copyright Got a Bad Name For Itself

"...Copyright is in bad odor these days. Many of the developments over the last years designed to protect copyright have drawn academic scorn, and intolerance even from the popular press. I have a theory about how copyright got a bad name for itself, and I can summarize it in one word: Greed.

"Corporate greed and consumer greed. Copyright owners, generally perceived to be large, impersonal and unlovable corporations (the human creators and interpreters - authors and performers - albeit often initial copyright owners, tend to vanish from polemical view), have eyed enhanced prospects for global earnings in an increasingly international copyright market. Accordingly, they have urged and obtained ever more protective legislation, that extends the term of copyright and interferes with the development and dissemination of consumer-friendly copying technologies.

"Greed, of course, runs both ways. Consumers, for their part, have exhibited an increasing rapacity in acquiring and "sharing" unauthorized copies of music, and more recently, motion pictures. Copyright owners' attempts to tame technology notwithstanding, at least some of the general public senses as illegitimate any law, or more particularly, any enforcement that gets in the way of what people can do with their own equipment in their own homes (or dorm rooms). Worse, they would decry this enforcement as a threat to the Constitutional goal of promotion of the Progress of Science, and thus a threat to the public interest."

Introduction to the article, Essay--How Copyright Got a Bad Name For Itself, by Jane C. Ginsburg

Read the essay, posted on the Social Science Research Network