Copyright Law‎ > ‎



All members of the Centre College community who create or use original works have a responsibility to know and understand the following features of copyright law.

  • Copyright protects original works and cannot apply to the following: facts, ideas, recipes, dedicated works, federal government works, expired works, concepts, principles, systems or methods of operation, or discoveries (not in tangible form or expression).
  • Copyright gives authors the right to control the creation of not only copies but also derivative works, among other things.
  • The term “public domain” refers to works no longer protected by copyright or not eligible for copyright protection.  Public domain works can be used freely.  (Is it Public Domain?)
  • U.S. copyright law provides faculty with rights to use portions of copyrighted works in the classroom, but those rights do not necessary extend beyond the real or virtual classroom.
  • U.S. copyright law gives libraries extra rights to make copies if they follow certain rules.
Fair Use
  • The principle of fair use permits certain uses of copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder.

o   Some, but not all, educational uses qualify as fair use.

o   Four principles govern whether or not a use is fair:

        1. the purpose and character of the use,
        2. the nature of the work,
        3. the amount used, and
        4. the effect on the market for the work.
  • It is the responsibility of anyone making or requesting copies (or derivatives) to verify that use is fair use.
Other Principles and Laws
There are several other principles and laws bearing upon particular uses of original works, which are described in more detail in later sections.
Subpages (1): Is it Public Domain?