This guide is provided for informational purposes only. VCCS librarians are unable to dispense legal advice. This guide is based on a guide produced by Piedmont Virginia Community College and was created by a VCCS committee.
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, sell, display, and reproduce literary, artistic or musical work, and applies both to traditional works (books, records, etc.) and to digital media (electronic journals, web sites, etc.).
Specifically, it protects the following eight categories:
This video from the Copyright Clearance Center covers the basics of copyright in a brief, informative, and interesting way. You are encouraged to watch it.
Remember, you may use a copyrighted work in your class if you (depending on the individual circumstance):