Copyright is part of intellectual property law. It gives creators exclusive rights (for a limited time) to print, copy, publish, perform, film, or record original works that they have fixed in a tangible form. Putting something in a tangible form might include publishing it on a blog or writing it in an email. Copyright specifically protects literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed.
The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at Oregon State University with information about copyright law and fair use. This guide is for educational purposes only. It is intended to help you make an informed decision, and should not construed as legal advice.