Copyright: Overview

  • Last Updated: Jun 29, 2015 1:36 AM
  • URL: http://guides.genesee.edu/copyright
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What is copyright?

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material, including photocopying, printing and downloading. Copyright protection gives authors and inventors exclusive right to control the use by others of their products and discoveries. Copyrighted works may not be reproduced, displayed publicly or performed without permission of the copyright owner. Protected works include literary, dramatic, musical, choreographic, pictorial, graphic, audiovisual, digital and other types of formats. Those who engage in unauthorized reproduction, performance, or distribution of copyrighted work may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

What's the purpose of copyright?

  • To protect the work that you create.
  • To encourage original research, invention, and creative expression.
  • To share creative or informative works with the public while ensuring creators' rights.

It is the policy of the College and of the employees of the College to comply with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning copyright.

Copyright in the News


How to Seek Permission

When do I seek permission?

Check out Cornell's Copyright Decision Tree to determine whether you need permission.

How do I get permission?

Try this Permission Request  letter to get started seeking permissions from copyright holders. Based on Cornell University letter.


Adapted from Purchase College Library's Copyright Guide, State University of New York and Maxwell Library's Copyright Guide, Bridgewater State University.