Answered By: Elyse Wolf
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2019     Views: 32

A copyright provides the author or creator of an original work expressed in a tangible medium with a set of exclusive rights. Original works include screenplays, books, photos, videos, blog posts, articles, and other expressions of ideas. A copyright provides the author or creator with the right to copy, distribute, and/or adapt the work.

Authors or creators of a copyrightable work are not required to submit any registrations or other documents in order to ensure that their work is protected by copyright. Although they can choose to register their work with the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, such registration is not required to enjoy the protections of copyright.

The information given here is for general information use only. It is not legal advice. SNHU faculty, staff and students are liable for any infringements they make on the rights of copyright owners. Avoiding copyright infringement is the responsibility of the individual user. Being ignorant of the law will not protect you against a claim of infringement.

Suggested Resources

  • Copyright Basics - Document produced by the United States Copyright Office summarizing copyright law.
  • U.S. Copyright Law - Title 17 of the U.S. Code, also called the U.S. Copyright Law, governs the use of copyrighted works. This link provides the text of the law from the United States Copyright Office web site.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act - The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (H.R. 2281, 1998) deals with digital media not covered in Title 17. It was passed by the U.S. Congress on October 12, 1998 in response to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 1996 copyright treaty.
  • TEACH Act - The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2001 (TEACH Act) (S. 487, 2001) defines new opportunities for distance education to use copyrighted material without obtaining permission from a work’s owners.
  • Section 108 Study Group - Read the March 2008 report of this group, which makes recommendations for the update of Copyright Law as it relates to digital media.
  • Congress.gov - Legislative information from the United States Senate and House of Representatives. This is a good place to keep track of potential changes to various copyright laws.
  • U.S. Copyright Office Twitter Feed - The official Twitter feed of the Register of Copyrights of the United States.
  • Copyright Guide (Shapiro Library)
  • Taking the Mystery out of Copyright (Library of Congress)

SNHU has provided the resources on this page to help individuals learn more about copyright laws and issues. However, SNHU cannot be responsible for the accuracy or completeness of third party links. This page is intended to be educational in nature and is not meant to constitute legal advice.

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