The goal of this guide is to provide members of the OWU community with informative resources that will help guide them in the responsible use of copyrighted material and encourage them to exercise their fair use rights.
Copyright refers to a group of laws (title 17, United States Code) intended to protect the creators of "original works of authorship" both published and unpublished. These individuals are given exclusive rights (and may authorize others) to reproduce their works, create derivative works based on their originals, distribute copies of their works via sale or ownership transfer, and perform or display their works publicly.
Original works that can be copyrighted fall under the following eight categories:
While a work doesn't have to be published to be protected by copyright, it does have to be "fixed in a tangible form of expression" and composed of information that is not "common property." This means that works such as unrecorded performances, slogans, ideas, calendars, and public documents cannot be copyrighted. For more information, check out the U.S. Copyright Office's Copyright Basics.
Use the copyright slider to help you determine whether a work falls under public domain or copyright.
For information about the use of copyrighted material on web sites under the owu.edu domain, check out the Use of Computer Facilities and Creation of Web Sites copyright policy.
The information included in this guide should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Please contact an attorney with specific legal questions.