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Authors' Rights: Publishing, Copyright, & You

A guide to resources for the "Publishing, Copyright, and You" Library Workshop


Copyright refers to a type of intellectual property law that protects creative works by granting exclusive rights to their author or creator.

When and how does copyright protection begin?

As soon as a creative work has been created, it is automatically protected by copyright. This means that a saved draft of an original paper is protected, as is the final published version. Who holds the copyright? As the author of a creative work, you have the following rights over your work from the moment it is created:

  • The exclusive rights of reproduction,
  • Distribution,
  • Public performance,
  • Public display, and
  • Modification of the original work.

You do not need to file for copyright control, put a copyright symbol on your work, or take any action for copyright protection to take effect for your works. 

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Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University