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A copyright resource page for faculty, staff, students, and the general community at the University of South Dakota.

DISCLAIMER: Information found in this guide is not intended to be legal advice.  This is a guide to copyright laws and issues, in the United States, generated by librarians at the University Libraries.  


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"A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for 'original works of authorship', including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. 'Copyright' literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents or ingredients are not subject to copyright."

Definitions | U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from


Creative Commons

"Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work–on conditions of your choice."

What we do. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from 

Fair Use

See Section 107.



"To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source"

Definition of PLAGIARIZING. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from


Public Domain

"The public domain is not a place. A work of authorship is in the 'public domain' if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner."

Definitions (FAQ) | U.S. Copyright Office. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from​

Section 107

Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use.


Section 108

Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives.



Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (S. 487).  "This important legislation updates sections 110(2) and 112 of the Copyright Act to allow the same activities to take place using digital delivery mechanisms that were permitted under the policy balance that was struck by Congress when the law was enacted in 1976, while introducing safeguards to minimize the additional risks to copyright owners that are inherent in exploiting works in a digital format."

U.S. Copyright Office: TEACH Act (Senate). (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from


Unpublished Sources

"A work for which publication, as defined in the Copyright Law, has not occurred." 

 Glossary. (2017, September 27). Retrieved from

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