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Faculty Resources   Tags: copyright, faculty, teaching  

Last Updated: Oct 14, 2016 URL: Print Guide

Copyright Print Page

Copyright Graffiti

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Public Domain

A public domain work is something is no longer covered by copyright law or it never was covered. While credit still needs to be given to the author of the work, it can be used without gaining permission from the author or copyright holder.

Use this chart to determine if a work is in the public domain.


    Obsolete Technology

    Under Section 108 of the US Copyright Act libraries are allowed to make a duplicate copy of a work (a) as long as:

    • the format in which the work is stored is obsolete (c)
    • a replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price (c.1)

    Digital reproductions cannot be made available to the public outside the premises of the library (c.2).

    These rules are observed in any conversion of VHS to DVD.


      Campus Copyright Policy

      Copyright Restrictions

      The copyright law of the United States [Title 17, United States Code] governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

      Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that use may be liable for copyright infringement.

      A library or archive reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fullfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

      VIDEO Overviews

      Fair Use

      "Fair use" allows one to use a portion of another's work (Section 107 of the US Copyright Act). Consider these 4 factors when determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

      • The purpose and character of the use
        • Whether such use is of commercial nature (less likely to be fair use) or is for nonprofit educational or analytical purposes (more likely to be fair use)
      • The nature of the copyrighted work
        • Facts and data are more likely to be fair use than creative works.
        • Government publications are public domain.
      • The amount and substantiality of the portion use.
        •  Even a small portion of a work may not be fair use if it is the heart of the work.
      • The effect of the use upon the market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
        •  Use resulting in economic loss to the copyright holder is less likely to be "fair use."

      If your use of a material is not "fair," you can still use it as long as you get permission from the copyright holder. Further discussion of fair use can be found here.

      • Fair Use Worksheet
        Is your use fair?? Fill out this Fair Use Analysis Tool from the U of M to determine if your use of information is fair.

      Copyright Slider

      Move the red arrow on the right to select date of publication.

      Searching Google Images

      How to find public domain images from Google Images:

      1. Go to Google Images and search for a particular image.
      2. Click on "Search tools" right below the search bar.
      3. Select "Usage rights"
      4. Select "Labeled for noncommercial reuse"
      5. Click on any of the Creative Commons Images.
      6. Click on "view webpage" to cite correct URL.

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      Subject Guide

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      Ramsey Turner
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      Jessi Zimmerman - Librarian: Reference & Instruction
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      Copyright Free Resources

      • Music
        Music available through the Creative Commons license
      • Creative Commons Search
        A nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
      • ImageCodr
        Legally credit photos you find through Creative Commons' Flickr search with this free image coding program.
      • Internet Archive
        Several multimedia listings available under Creative Commons licensing and public domain.
      • Open Clipart
        Public domain downloadable images


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