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SJR State Library

Copyright Information: Introduction

Information on copyright law and fair use in an academic setting


The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at SJR STATE with an understanding of copyright law and fair use.

While copyright issues can be complex, everyone needs to understand the basics. Failure to comply with copyright law can lead to substantial legal penalties for both you and the college.


SJRstate Copyright Policy

All SJR STATE employees are expected to have a basic understanding of copyright law and to adhere to all laws regarding Copyright, Fair Use, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the TEACH Act, and to act in good faith when using copyrighted materials to support education and research activities.

SJR STATE Copyright procedure for Employees

Common Copyright Scenarios

Click here to view. The scenarios provided are intended to help faculty and students evaluate fair use and should not be construed as legal advice. These guidelines are simply that and in no way guarantee exemption from infringement.

Content used with permission from the Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology | 5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201

P2P File Sharing

P2P refers to “peer to peer” file sharing networking. The term refers to a decentralized computing network in which users exchange files directly with other users.

Please click on page 1 and page 2 of our pamphlet  to read more about P2P sharing and how it relates to you.



Copyright on Campus - A video presentation from the Copyright Clearing Center

Copyright Defined

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.



Elements of this guide were adapted from or used directly with permission from the following institutions:

The Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology

University of Nebraska, McGoogan Library of Medicine

The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.