COVID-19 Update: The library building is closed to the public. Physical ILL and some resource sharing items are unavailable, but we will make every attempt to fill your request electronically. We can mail our physical materials or create an appointment for curbside pickup. Please return all materials to the drop box outside the library. Click here for more information.
Copyright & Fair Use
Learn the basics of copyright law, especially as it is applied to videos, images, and published documents in a university setting..
If you are an author looking for assistance with managing or negotiating your copyright, we recommend reviewing Madison's Managing Your Copyright page.
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to authors. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to do and authorize the following:
To reproduce the work;
To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
To distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
To prohibit other persons from using the work without permission;
To perform the work publicly.
Copyright protection covers both published and unpublished works as well as out-of-print materials. In the United States, all works are presumed to be copyright - and that includes anything published to the web.
Facts, ideas, procedures, processes, systems, concepts, principles or discoveries cannot be copyrighted. However, some of these other forms of intellectual property can be protected by patent, trademark, or trade secret laws.
Best Practices & Policies
Copyright Clearance Center's Guidelines and Best Practices for Copyright Compliance