Copyright Dos and Don'ts
Common Scenarios
This is the "Copyright Law" page of the "Copyright Research Guide" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Copyright Research Guide  

Modified with permission from Ingrid Redman, Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology, NYU-Poly.
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Copyright Law Print Page


The purpose of this site is to provide faculty, staff and students at PVCC with an understanding of copyright law and fair use. While copyright issues can be complex, everyone needs to understand the basics. This site also includes copyright and fair use compliance guidelines for faculty.


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.). Specifically, it 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. Others may use the work, but to do so 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.

This video from the Copyright Clearance Center covers the basics of copyright in a brief, informative and interesting way. You are encouraged to watch it.


Loading  Loading...