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Copyright: A Guide to the Law and Fair Use

This guide leads to resources that will help library users learn more about copyright and fair use and may therefore be of help in answering questions about using copyrighted content for teaching, research, learning, and more.

About this Guide

Old-fashioned newsprint reads: United States and Foreign Copyrights, Patents and Trade-Marks. Copyright will protect you from pirates...As students, faculty, and other members of the Temple community, you probably have--or will have--copyright questions from time to time.

  • Can I photocopy or scan a chapter from a library book?
  • Can I post a chapter or article to my course website?
  • Can I distribute copies of a newspaper article to others?

Copyright is a complex subject made more complex by a fair amount of gray area around what is and what is not lawful, and there are often more questions than there are good answers.

This guide is intended to provide Temple community members with an introduction to U.S. copyright law, fair use, and Creative Commons licensing, and provide access to resources to learn more.

Copyright balances the rights of creators with the rights of the public to use a work without permission or payment. Under copyright, authors have the right to control the use of their work, subject to the exceptions permitted under the law. While copyright issues can be complex, everyone needs to understand the basics. Failure to comply with copyright law can lead to substantial legal penalties. This guide will help you understand your rights, the rights of creators/copyright holders, and how to re-use copyrighted material fairly and legally while working or studying at Temple University.

Image credit: "A copyright will protect you from PIRATES" by Ioan Sameli is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

NOTE: This guide does not supply legal advice nor is it intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

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Becca Fülöp
Charles Library, Rm 375
Subjects: Dance, Music, Theater