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Copyright: What is Copyright?




1. Ownership Authorship
Ownership of a protected work DOES NOT give the owner copyright permissions. Copyright remains with the Author, not the owner, unless these rights have been legally transferred.

2. Publication Copyright
Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, (not published) and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or
phonorecord for the first time.

3. Ownership Rights to Perform in Public
These rights remain with the author until a license or other permissions are granted to the owner.

4. Ownership Rights to Stage Public Viewing
These rights remain with the author until a license or other permissions are granted to the owner



Fair Use
Permits the copying and reproduction of copyrighted works for particular purposes and in particular situations.

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act permits the copying of copyrighted materials by Educational Institutions for the purpose of Distance Education.

Defines new rules for the Copyright of new digital media.

Creative Commons License
Materials published under a Creative Commons license may be re-used, re-posted, etc., for non-commercial purposes as long as credit or attribution is given to the original authors and publications.

Materials that are in the public domain may be re-used in any way without limitation. These include:

works published before January 1, 1923,

works published before January 1, 1963, without copyright notice or whose copyrights were not renewed,

works whose authors have been dead for more than 75 years, unless previously copyrighted and still within term

United States government works, including US Patents and works by US government employees created in the course of their official duties

works of Florida state employees created in the course of their official duties


See Digital Commons @ University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln  for more information.


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COPYRIGHT - an overview


What is Copyright ?
A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship," it is available to both published and unpublished works.

Visit the United States Copyright Office for the complete and updated version of the US Copyright Law.
(The following information is taken from the US Copyright Law, title 17 of the US State Code available at )


Only the "author" has the following rights and the rights to authorize others to do the following:

1. Reproduce Works:
To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecord;

Defining Authorship

2. Prepare Derivatives:
To prepare derivative works based upon the work;

"Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form.

3. To Distribute and Copy:
To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work.

4. To Conduct Public Performances:
To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
To perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission, in the case of sound recordings;

Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.

5. To Curate Public Displays:
To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.

In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author."
(See Section 101 of  the copyright law)

Taken from US Copyright Basics



Visit the following University of Nebraska-Lincoln Copyright websites for examples and more details concerning Copyright at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Digital Copyright Guidelines
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Copyright Guidelines for students.

Copyrights, University Tradmarks and Licenses
Guidelines concerning the showing and perfoming of theatre, music and video productions at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Also gives information on the use of University of Nebraska-Lincoln trademarks.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Copyright Guidelines Policy
UNl copyright policy guides for courses.

What is Protected?

Protected Not Protected
Literary works- this may also  include computer programs and compilations.
 Musical works, including any accompanying words Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded)
 Dramatic works, including any accompanying music Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents.
Pantomimes and choreographic works Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration.
Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works- this may also include maps and archetectural plans. Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources)
Motion pictures and other audiovisual work
 Sound recordings
  Architectural works
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