Copyright Basics

photo of an artist
Artist at work, used with permission of Ed Yourdon

Copyright is the area of law that deals with creation, ownership, sale, and use of creative and expressive works. Many people think of copyright as a distant thing that doesn't relate to their lives, but there are lots of reasons everyone should know a little bit about copyright. Among them:

You are already an owner of many copyrights!
(Copyright protects your works automatically.)

Many of your daily activities may be potentially infringing!
But you might be allowed to do those things anyway!

Some of the basics:
Copyright's Purpose: What Copyright is For
Functional © Fundamentals
The Public Domain
Exceptions & Limitations: Classroom Use, Fair Use, and more

Creative Commons License Unless otherwise noted, all content on the Copyright Information section of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

This web site presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.