This purpose of this webpage is to provide general information about copyright law to assist ETSU faculty, staff, and students in understanding this complex area of the law. Compliance with federal copyright law is expected of all ETSU students, faculty, and staff. The information on this page does not constitute legal advice. If based upon all facts and circumstances involved in a specific instance, it may be permissible for University Counsel to provide advice related to copyright issues. Faculty and staff who have questions about copyright related to their university activities should email the University Counsel's at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Copyright" provides legal protection for creative intellectual works. Text (including email and web information), graphics, art, photographs, music, and software are examples of types of works protected by copyright. The creator of the work, or sometimes the person who hired the creator, is the initial copyright owner. An individual may be permited to "use" all or part of a copyrighted work only if (a) the individual receives permission from the copyright owner in writing (either email or letter), or (b) if the individual qualifies for a legal exception (the most common exception is called "fair use").
"Use" of a work is defined for copyright purposes as copying, distributing, making derivative works, publicly displaying, or publicly performing the work. Copying, distributing, downloading, and uploading information on the Internet may infringe the copyright for that information. Even an innocent, unintentional infringement violates the law.
Additional resources related to Copyright law include:
- ETSU Copyright Policy
- Copyright Law
- What does Copyright Protect?
- Information regarding Fair Use
- US Copyright Office
- Copyright Records Research
- Copyright Office FAQ's