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Copyright Information

What is copyright

Copyright is a form of protection granted by law for "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression," both published and unpublished ( While you do not have to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you will have to do so if you wish to file a lawsuit against another party for infringement.

About this Guide

This is a resource to help faculty, staff, and students make informed decisions regarding copyright use. It is organized to address information regarding copyright and the use of copyrighted materials on an academic campus. There are many aspects of copyright to consider when making a decision regarding the use of copyright protected materials. Within this guide, each aspect is given its own page in an effort to make easier use of the information. Use the following links to learn about copyright.

Lavery Library's Copyright Mission

As an institution devoted to teaching, learning, service, and scholarship, St. John Fisher University supports compliance with all United States copyright laws. This web site has been created as an educational resource for faculty, librarians, and staff in order to enhance the understanding of, and to assist in their compliance with, current copyright laws and doctrines, including the doctrine of fair use.

Ultimate responsibility for copyright compliance rests with the end user; therefore, the decision-making tools and guidelines on this site are designed to assist faculty and staff in using copyrighted materials appropriately. While copyright law protects owners of "original works of authorship," it also allows for the use of many copyrighted materials in an educational setting. This website provides resources designed to help faculty determine when and how materials (e.g., books, articles) can be used in their courses.