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Copyright Guidelines

Information and links to quality information about copyright issues.

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Copyright Basics

Copyright is a form of protection given to authors of original work that is fixed in a tangible format. Authors are more motivated and able to express their ideas, if they are protected through ownership of their work. Registration and copyright notice are not required on the work for it to receive copyright protection.

Examples of works that are protected: literary and textual works, musical works, dramatic works, choreography, graphic and sculptural works, sound recordings, architecture.

The exclusive rights of the author/copyright holder include:

  • Reproduction of the work (make copy or recordings)
  • Distribution of the work (publish, sell, rent, lend)
  • Making derivative works (translations, audio versions, etc.)
  • Public display (showing) of the work
  • Public performance (recite, act, play) of the work.

Keep in mind, the “author” may be an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization or company (works made for hire).

Duration of copyright protection:

  • For a single author: life of the author + 70 years;
  • For joint authors: life of the last surviving author + 70 years;
  • For works for hire: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation (whichever is shorter).

Exemptions are written into the copyright law, which allow use of copyrighted works for purposes of education, libraries, and preservation. Jump to other sections of this guide for more information.

Note: There is no such thing as an international copyright: copyright laws vary greatly from country to country.

Creative Commons License

Unless otherwise noted, the content of these guides by Loras College Library, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Some icons by Yusuke Kamiyamane. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.