These resources provide an entry to legal literacy about copyright legislation, fair use, and public domain to assist you in making informed decisions about using information in a responsible way. This guide does not constitute legal advice.
Copyright is a set of protections afforded to the author of an original work. In the United States, copyright arises from Article I, §8 of the United States Constitution, which allows Congress "[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." The specific laws governing copyright are found primarily in 17 U.S.C. §101ff., as well as court rulings that interpret this legislation.
While using a copyrighted work without permission for educational purposes is often acceptable, educational use is no guarantee. If you want to use the work of other authors, you may need permission from the copyright holder.
If none of the above cases applies, you still may be able to use the work in question if you can make a fair use argument.
Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons
Wentworth Institute of Technology
550 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115