Understanding Copyright

Copyright Basics

UM Libraries Policies Related to Copyright, Reproduction, and Permissions

Materials in the UM Libraries collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Act and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations. With regard to copyright, copies of these materials are provided under the authority of Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act which provides for fair use.

It is the user’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when reproducing materials found in the Libraries’ collections. Requests for reproductions may be denied if such work would damage the materials to be copied. The availability of reproductions is subject to the material’s size, condition, and copyright restrictions.

DISCLAIMER: What is presented here is not legal advice and should not be taken as such. This information is presented to provide guidance to the University Community regarding library materials and resources and copyright, permissions, and related services. If a specific concern or question is not addressed in this guide, you are still responsible for compliance U.S. Copyright Law.

The U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17, U.S.C.) grants authors and creators rights over their original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual products. It is important to recognize that Copyright Law protects both published and unpublished works.

Copyright provides authors and creators with the following rights:

  • to reproduce or copy all or part of the work
  • to prepare derivative works based on the original
  • to distribute copies of the work to the public
  • to publicly perform a copyrighted work such as literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic works, pantomime, motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • to publicly display a copyrighted work such as literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic works, pantomimes, pictorial, graphic, sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual works
  • in the case of sound recordings, to publicly perform the work by the means of a digital audio transmission

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