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Copyright for Research and Teaching

This guide serves as an introduction to U.S. copyright issues including definitions, fair use, research and classroom use, and related topics.

About this Guide

This guide serves as an introduction to copyright and is intended for use by ISU students, staff, and faculty.  We will point you to a number of resources that will help you learn what copyright is, what types of works are protected by copyright in the U.S., what is "Fair Use," and other questions that are frequently asked at ISU.  Please note that this guide is not a substitute for legal advice, should that be warranted.

"Copyright Basics" Video

We'll start with some basics. The Crash Course YouTube channel has created a number of short and entertaining educational videos, including a series on Intellectual Property with three segments on copyright. Their Copyright Basics video is embedded below. It provides a short history of copyright law and its original intent, what types of works are protected by copyright, and what counts as "work for hire."

(12.17 minutes; closed captions available via video screen's bottom menu bar, right corner.)

Online Learning Resources

Coursera: Copyright for Educators & Librarians

This online course was developed by librarians who specialize in Copyright law. The five-week course contains a very well developed series of videos, helpful readings, and assignments. Enrolling in the course is free and highly recommended.

NOLO Resources on Copyright Law

Nolo is a great free resource to learn about the law. Their section on copyright contains some fantastic articles.


Your librarian

Jeff Alger's picture
Jeff Alger
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