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Basics presents an overview of U.S. copyright with recommended resources.

What is copyright?

    Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. It protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. 

SOURCE: FAQs: Copyright in General from U.S. Copyright Office. Accessed 4/1/2020.

U.S. Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office administers the copyright laws of the United States and provides impartial expert advice on the copyright laws. Their website,, provides a wealth of resources. Here are a few links to help you quickly find information.

Copyright on Campus

Copyright: Learn More

Copyright issues are important to education and libraries. Consequently, these institutions devote time and resources to understanding the nuances of the laws and explaining it to faculty, students, and library patrons.