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Copyright   Tags: resourceguide  

Last Updated: May 27, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This Guide is for you....

if you've ever wondered if it is okay to:

º Photocopy an article put on reserve for your class

º Add an image you found in Flckr to your own blog or newsletter

º Scan a textbook so you can study it on a portable device

º  Include a chart, graph or text excerpt in your student paper, thesis or dissertation

º  Add a quote or cartoon to your PowerPoint slide

º  Screen a movie at your club's next meeting

º  Rip movie scenes from a DVD, mix and mash them up, and repost your new video to YouTube

º  Burn a CD from your Itunes account and give it to your friend 


If you have wrestled with other forms of Copyright Confusion


For Additional Assistance

Please contact the Libraries through our AskUs services.



| Copy | Share | Scan | Change | Play | Display |


As a busy, hard-workin' Aggie, you no doubt prepare papers, projects, and other assignments that require you to consult and draw on works created by others.  These works contain valuable information that is necessary for your studies, research, creative pursuits, and service activities on campus. And these works may also be protected by copyright, the federal law that governs how original works may be copied, modified, distributed and shared.

If you are using any sort of material that you yourself did not create, you need to think carefully about copyright. Using someone else's copyrighted material without permission could constitute copyright infringement, an illegal and unethical act that violates not only US law but also the Aggie Honor Code, as well as other professional and research standards of conduct.

To comply with copyright law and with standards for ethical conduct, you need to do one of three things:

  • Determine that your use qualifies for one of the limitations to the copyright holder's rights, such as Fair Use OR
  • Use materials that are free of copyright restrictions because they are in the public domain, or they are published with an open license for use OR
  • Obtain permission for your use from the copyright holder. 

How do you know what approach to take in your particular situation?  That's what this Guide is designed to help with.  Here you will find some brief explanations of key copyright concepts as well as resources for learning more.

Ultimately, each Aggie makes his or her own decision as to whether, or how, to use copyrighted works in a legal and ethical way. The information and resources are offered here to provide helpful and reliable information you can use to make that decision.

Please click on the tabs above to learn more.


Quick Copyright Answers


Not-So-Quick Answers: Read US Copyright Law

US Copyrigt law is embodied in three different sources:

  1. US Statutes, as enacted by Congress (US Code Title 17)
    See the complete law as published by the US Copyright Office at
  2. Legal decisions made in courts of law
  3. The US Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8
    Known as the 'Copyright Clause', our Constitution states:
    "The Congress shall have Power To...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries...."
    Visit the Constitution online via the Library of Congress at /Constitution.html

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Paula Sullenger

Ownership of this Guide

Creative Commons License
Copyright LibGuide at Texas A&M University by Gail Clement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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