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About the Library

Copyright Compliance

The Saint Francis University Library adheres to, and urges its users to adhere to, United States copyright law. This page provides helpful resources so that others may better understand what it means to be copyright compliant. You may also be interested in the SFU Copyright Policy.

Copyright Law

Copyright is a "principle of American law. . .that an author of a work may reap the fruits of his or her intellectual creativity for a limited period of time. Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. “Copyright” literally means the right to copy. The term has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to authors for protection of their work. The owner of copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and, in the case of certain works, publicly perform or display the work; to prepare derivative works; in the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission; or to license others to engage in the same acts under specific terms and conditions. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, slogan, principle, or discovery." From Copyright Circular 1a 


Learn more about copyright

Fair Use

What is Fair Use?

Section 107 of the Copyright Act governs fair use of copyrighted works. Section 107 states: The fair use of a copyrighted work...for the purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching...scholarship, or research is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered...include: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


Not sure if your use is "fair use"?

Try the Fair Use Evaluator. "This tool is designed to help you better understand how to determine the "fairness" of a use under the U.S. Copyright Code. The tool will help you collect, organize & archive the information you might need to support a fair use evaluation by providing you with a time-stamped, PDF document for your records, which could prove valuable, should you ever be asked by a copyright holder to provide your fair use evaluation and the data you used to support it."

Additional Useful Resources

Creative Commons - "Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation." Don't want to claim full copyright protection for your work? Use one of the many Creative Commons licenses to do so.

Copyright Cleanrance Center - "[P]rovides collective copyright licensing services for corporate and academic users of copyrighted materials. CCC procures agreements with rights holders, primarily academic publishers, and then acts as their agent in arranging collective licensing for institutions and one-time licensing for document delivery services, course packs, and other access and uses of texts". From Wikipedia