Copyright, permissions, and author agreement consulting


Copyright is a legal term that refers to the rights, granted in the U.S. Copyright Act, given to an author to protect their writing.

  • Copyright applies to text, sound, images, moving images, and graphic art.
  • The owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, license, and to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons Licenses work in conjunction with copyright to provide greater flexibility in how content is used and shared. The Library is very familiar with Creative Commons licenses and can help with questions about understanding and applying such licenses.

Fair Use

In academia, reuse of work is often based on the principle of fair use. Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without obtaining permission from the copyright owner. There are few concrete rules for fair use. Instead, four factors are considered:

  • The purpose and character of your use
  • The nature of the copyrighted work
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market


Although we do not offer legal advice, the library can help you navigate copyright, your rights, and your ability to reuse work. Email or call Leila Sterman for help [ext. 4519].

For more information on copyright, visit
For patent questions, contact the Technology Transfer Office.