This guide is intended to encourage and promote legitimate use of copyrighted material, regardless of the form or format in which it exists. This document provides descriptions of issues, guidelines, frequently asked questions and related sources for proper consideration of the intellectual property rights of others. These are provided to assist in understanding the acceptable use practices of electronic objects and media, as well as print media, as they relate to copyright compliance.


A copyright provides the rights and protections granted by the laws of the United States to the authors of "original works of authorship." By definition this consists of literary, musical (including accompanying words), dramatic (including accompanying music), sound recordings, motion picture, other audiovisual, pantomimes and choreographic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, architectural and certain other intellectual works.


The 1976 Copyright Act generally provides the owner of a copyright the exclusive rights to reproduce a copyrighted work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform publicly, or display a copyrighted work publicly. The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress registers these copyrights.

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