Copyright & Intellectual Property Resources

Copyright is the exclusive right granted by law for a specified amount of time to insure that authors have the sole right to benefit from their work. The U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Sections 107 through 120 exempt patrons from copyright infringement in certain circumstances. These circumstances include fair use, educational use and library use.

Library patrons should adhere to U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). If patrons do not adhere to the fair use guidelines, then they may be liable for copyright infringement. MSU faculty members can find copyright guidelines through the University's homepage under Faculty Handbook.

Information about the copyright law and related issues may be found on the following websites:

Copyright Reference Resources

Copyright Basics: An outline of copyright basics provided by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyright Tutorial: "Crash Course in Copyright" created by the University of Texas System.

Copyright & Fair Use: Stanford University Libraries' comprehensive website dedicated to the fair use of intellectual property.

Copyright & IP: Comprehensive information about copyright and intellectual property provided by ARL (Association of Research Libraries)

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials: The UT System's "Rule of Thumb" approach for the fair use of copyrighted materials.

National Education Association's List of Resources: Miscellaneous information about the copyright issues provided by National Education Association.

Public Domain Chart: A chart that shows when works pass into the public domain, created by Lolly Gasaway of University of North Carolina.

What is Intellectual Property? Two experts explain the mysteries of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, provided by the International Information Programs website of the U.S. Department of State.

Fair Use for Teaching and Research

Fair-Use Issues: Guidelines for the fair-use issues prepared by the Copyright Management Center of Indiana University-Purdue University.

Guidelines For Classroom Copying of Books and Periodicals: "Adaptation of the actual copying guidelines agreed to by the Association of American Publishers and The Author's League of America (with minor editorial changes)" by the UT System.

Organizations Related to Copyright & Intellectual Property

Coalition for Networked Information (CNI): "An organization to advance the transformative promise of networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity."

Copyright Clearance Center: A not-for-profit organization created by Congress to help organizations comply with U.S. copyright law.

Copyright Management Center: "Serves the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and larger Indiana University community with copyright issues arising in the creation of original works and in the use of existing copyrighted works for teaching, research, and service."

U.S. Copyright Office: It is located in the Library of Congress and provides expert assistance on intellectual property matters. Copyright registration procedures and forms can be found on their website.

Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

Copyright Law in the Electronic Environment: A comprehensive site about copyright issues in the electronic environment created by Georgia Harper, Office of General Counsel, University of Texas System. It includes a summary of multimedia fair use guidelines.

Digital Future Coalition (DFC): Information about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provided by DFC, a collaboration of the nation's leading non-profit educational, scholarly, library and consumer groups.

Intellectual Property and Copyright: Protecting Educational Interests and Managing Changing Environments: A paper about intellectual property and copyright by Janis H. Bruwelheide

Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include --

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.