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Copyright & Creative Commons

Copyright = the right to copy

Copyright grants exclusive rights for copying, distributing, publicly performing, adapting, or otherwise using a work to the copyright holder, often the creator of the work.  Others wishing to copy, adapt, distribute, perform, or otherwise use the work must obtain permission from the copyright holder.

Purpose of Copyright

  • To recognize and protect the connection authors and other creators have with their work, ensuring attribution and preserving the integrity of the work
  • To provide creators an incentive to create new work by allowing creators a monopoly over the use of their work for a limited time

What is Copyrightable? What is not?

Copyright grants rights to work that is original, a creation not copied from another work. Some examples:

  • Scholarly works of criticism or analysis
  • Research articles
  • Literary works (essays, poems, stories, novels)
  • Musical works (songs, recordings, musical scores)
  • Artistic works (paintings, photographs, sculptures, etc.)
  • Dramatic Works (plays, scenes, video performances)
  • Cinematographic works
  • Translations, adaptations, arrangements of literary and artistic works
  • Collections of literary, scholarly and artistic works
  • Databases
  • Computer software

Copyright does not protect facts or ideas, only the expression of those facts or ideas.

 “Copyright Basics” ( by Creative Commons. CC BY 4.0.