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Copyright Information

Respecting the rights of authors, creators and producers is a critical component of academic integrity.

The following resources, which are by no means exhaustive, are provided for the convenience of our patrons. It’s the user’s responsibility to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and the Copyright Policy of Liberty University.

Library Copyright Issues

The United States Copyright Act grants the copyright owner exclusive rights in the following areas:

  • Reproduction – The right to reproduce the work.
  • Adaptation – The right to create and produce derivative works based on the original piece.
  • Distribution – The right to distribute copies.
  • Performance – The right to perform the work publicly.
  • Display – The right to display and transmit the work publicly.

Fair Use

The law broadly defines copyright protection and then provides a number of exceptions to the copyright owners’ exclusive rights. The best-known exception is ‘fair use.’ There are four factors to be considered in a ‘fair use’ analysis in making a determination of what constitutes ‘fair use’:

  • Purpose and character of use – Is it of a commercial nature or for nonprofit educational purposes?
  • Nature of copyrighted work – Is this worthy of copyright protection?
  • Relative amount – How much and of what quality or importance was copied?
  • Effect upon potential market – What is the extent of harm to the market of the original work caused by the infringement?

For a guide to what amounts to “fair use” exception and other information regarding intellectual property, see 17 U.S.C. § 106 (2005). See also the following: https://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter0/index.html.

The Liberty University Faculty Handbook also contains guidelines and procedure for copying and obtaining permission to reproduce copyright-protected materials. See Faculty Handbook.

Additional Copyright Resources