Copyright Basics

Copyright Overview
Fair Use
© Infringement Penalties
US Legal System

For Instructors

Face-to-Face Instruction
Virtual Instruction

For Researchers

Use of © Works
Author Rights
Thesis/ Dissertation

Copyright Resources

Campus Resources
Other Resources
UCO Publications
Reporting Alleged © Infringement

Copyright Overview

Copyright is all about balancing the rights of authors with the rights of the public to use the work without seeking permission or paying royalties. Under copyright, authors have the right to control the use of their work subject to exceptions permitted under the law. If the use exceeds such exceptions, then infringing on someone's copyright can result in the infringer paying money damages (civil liability) and/or going to prison (criminal liability). To understand your rights and responsibilities under the copyright law, review the basics and the exceptions.

The Basics

  1. What is copyright?
  2. Where did copyright law originate?
  3. Why is copyright important?
  4. When does a work become copyrighted?
  5. What can be copyrighted?
  6. What cannot be copyrighted?
  7. What are the copyright holder's exclusive rights?
  8. How long does copyright last?
  9. What is the public domain?

The Exceptions

  1. Fair Use
  2. Face-to-Face Instruction
  3. Virtual Instruction



The mission of the University Copyright Office is to educate the Purdue University community on copyright..
The information contained on the UCO site should not be considered legal advice.
Individuals should consult their own attorneys.

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