The Libraries’ Copyright services are migrating and consolidating content to this site.

Copyright Basics – Learn More About Copyright

  • What is a copyright?  What’s the difference between a copyright, and a trademark, or a patent?  What’s the difference between plagiarism and copyright?
    • Copyright Theory – Problems of Copyright Today – Permission Culture – Orphan Works – Intellectual Freedom Doctrines Within Copyright
  • How do I get a copyright?  What is copyrightable?   (and what is NOT copyrightable?)  Software, music, drawings – help me understand them!
  • Who owns copyrights?
    • What is the work-made-for-hire doctrine?  What’s a joint author?
    • Explain licensing and copyright transfers to me!
    • What is copyright termination?
  • What rights come with copyrights?  What rights don’t?
    • 6 exclusive rights: Reproduction; Distribution; Derivative Works; Public performance and display.
    • Fair use.
    • First sale (or exhaustion).
    • Video performances in the classroom and distance learning.
    • Library exemptions.
  • What is paracopyright?  What’s the DMCA?
  • Copyright law – How do I research it?  Statutes and regulations; copyright cases; copyright treatises and reference tools; useful resources on copyright.  Case Summaries

Authors and Their Copyrights : How do I get a copyright?  Should I register my copyright?   How do I protect against plagiarism?  Can you help me understand my publication contract?

Using Copyrighted Works and Other Content: Can I use this fact, this figure, this piece of information, this drawing?  Is the content copyrighted, or public domain, or non-copyrighted?  What is Creative Commons licensing?   What is fair use?   What is the TEACH Act?  Can I show this movie in class, or for a group?  What about teaching and presenting?  what about writing and publishing?

Copyright Informational Services at UMass

The University Libraries provide a number of educational services relating to copyright.  These include workshops, special events, informational materials, and consultations.  The Libraries also host a monthly “Copyright Reading Group”; please contact Laura Quilter if you’re interested in joining us.  Our educational services cover all copyright-related topics, although topics of particular and frequent interest are fair use, public domain content, and copyright issues in particular fields.  Becuase copyright is so closely related to open access and scholarly communication topics, we also routinely cover author/publisher agreements and open licensing (like Creative Commons).  We provide regular office hours for drop-in discussions about copyright issues, as well as appointments.

The Libraries also provide copyright-related rights clearances and fair use assessments as needed to make materials available for classroom use through ereserves.  The Libraries do not provide rights clearances for faculty/UMass author publications.  However, we can meet with you to help you assess whether work might be in the public domain, or whether your uses might be fair use.

Learn More About Copyright 

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