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Copyright Guide

This guide provides information, guidelines, and resources on copyright law for Marine Corps University faculty, students, and staff.

Copyright Law

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.). Copyright 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. Use of such work by others during the term of the copyright 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 for which the law provides remedies including payment of money damages to the copyright owner.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law by President Clinton on October 28, 1998.The legislation implements two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties: the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The DMCA also addresses a number of other significant copyright-related issues.

Copyright History and Education

This section provides an overview of United States Copyright history.

It is Copyrighted?

The Copyright Genie can:

  1. Help you find out if a work is covered by U.S. copyright,
  2. Calculate its terms of protection, and
  3. Collect and publish the results (as a PDF) to save for your records  or further vet with a copyright specialist.

The Copyright Genie was created and copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Commercial-Share Alike license by Michael Brewer and the ALA Office for Information Technology.

Books

Credits

Thanks to the following for allowing us to borrow from their Copyright and Fair Use Libguides:

  • Ingrid Redman at Bern Dibner Library, NYU Poly
  • Marie Reidelback at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Kate Borowski at Bush Memorial Library

 

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