Do's and Don'ts


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What is stated that copyright law is, is a structure of protection that is placed within the United States Constitution (United State Copyright Office: A department of the Library of Congress, 2015). This form of protection protects authors and works on various mediums. Copyright law covers published and unpublished pieces, or articles (United State Copyright Office: A department of the Library of Congress, 2015).

Intellectual Property

  • Intellectual Property (IP) is protected in law by., for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish (World Intellectual Property Organization, 2015).

  • Intellectual Property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce (World Intellectual Property Organization, 2015).

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Fair Use?

It is stated that “Fair Use” protects the rights of the public to limited use of copyrighted materials (Vanasco, D., 2015; Annegilliland1, 2012).

Here is some criteria for “Fair Use.”

  1. Does it have a nonprofit educational purpose?

  2. What kind of material do you want to use?

  3. Are you using only a small portion?

  4. Will your use deprive the author from making money?

  5. You can also only use 10% of media, pieces of writing, or sounds. (or specific lengths, etc.) (Annegilliland1, 2012)

Discovered in the resources used, if the copyright owner decides to disagree with the "Fair use" interpretation, the issue may have to resolved by a lawsuit or arbitration (The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, 2015). If it is not fair use from the beginning, then this is infringing on the rights of the copyright owner and may be liable for damages (The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, 2015).

Public Domain?

Public Domain is known as works that are not copyrighted in which are considered public domain and may be used without permission (Vanasco, D., 2015). In this matter you should still give considerable credit to the source of the work (Vanasco, D., 2015).

Resources state that most material found on government websites are considered Public Domain, therefore they can be used, but always check or read for the copyright statements (Vanasco, D., 2015).

Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free tools (Creative Commons, 2015; Follows, C., 2011).

Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world. It develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation (Creative Commons, 2015; Follows, C., 2011).

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Video Archive

Dilbert: Copyright Infringement Video
Understanding Copyright Law and Exclusive Rights



  • The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.(2015). Fair Use. Retrieved from

  • Creative Commons. (2015). About. Retrieved from

  • United State Copyright Office: A department of the Library of Congress. (2015). Copyright in General. Retrieved from