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644 James B. Hunt Dr.
Mount Olive, NC 28365
(919) 658-7869
644 James B. Hunt Dr., Mount Olive, NC 28365 | (919) 658-7869

Copyright & Fair Use Guide

Standard Disclaimer

The materials and information presented here do not constitute legal advice and are presented for informational purposes only. For legal guidance, please consult with a licensed attorney. 

Determining Copyright Status

What counts as copyrighted material? 

Your academic publication? Your grandpa's letters? An audio recording of your best friend? Technically, all of these items are subject to copyright. 

Even if an individual has not filed for copyright protection, by default the copyright lies with the creator or originator of the content. Within some companies or institutions, an individual's work as an employee of the institution is considered the property of the institution rather than the individual. This is generally stipulated in an individual's contract of employment or in an official policy statement. Most published material will also be filed with the copyright office, making protection of the author/creator's rights more easily enforceable in a court of law.  

Copyright does expire and is subject to certain exceptions. The most recent material that will have fallen out of copyright was published in 1923. The most recent exception to copyright falls under The Marrakesh Treaty

Copyright Timelines

Date/Date Range  Copyright Information
published before 1924 public domain
published between 1924 and 1963  public domain IF copyright expires without renewal

This chart ONLY applies to items published within the United States. 

Author's Rights

You hold copyright to your work, but your rights to distribute your work are based on the agreements you make with your publisher. 

Uploading your work to personal websites, digital repositories, and resource-sharing sites like Research Gate may be in violation of your publishing agreement. The guide below presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries provides further information on this topic. 

Fair Use