Copyright: Copyright Basics

A Libguide to inform faculty about copyright

Copyright Basics

Copyright covers "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression."  A creative work is copyrighted from the moment it is "fixed".  Copyright exists regardless of whether the authors have registered with the Copyright Office and the copyright symbol is not required to be displayed. However, there are advantages in registering your copyright.  If you chose to register your copyright, a public record is established.  A registered copyright is necessary for legal action and legal safeguards.


Copyright grants exclusive right to the author.  These include:

  • Right of reproduction of works, including derivative works.
  • Right to distribute copes to the public by sale, rental, lease, lending.
  • Right of public performance of works.
  • Right of public display of works.






Copyright and Course Management PowerPoint

What Can be Copyrighted?

Copyright protects the following categories of major works:

(not a complete listing)

  • literary works
  • musical works
  • dramatic works
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works