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Copyright: Copyright @ Marshall Center Research Library

Defines US Copyright, Fair Use, Re-Use guidelines. Includes information on avoiding plagiarism.

Getting started with Copyright & Fair Use

Dr. Tobin's Copyright Flow Chart

Use the Copyright Flow Chart (at left) to ensure you're using a copyrighted work appropriately.

Use the sample request letter (at right) to request permission to use someone's work in your course. 

For either, click on the picture to see the full-sized document. 

Sample letter to request permission to use a copyrighted work

Copyright Basics

The bottom line? Scanning a document to a PDF file & pasting the PDF URL to SharePoint, the M: drive, or other location, is making a copy and is a violation of copyright law!

See the questions below to learn more about Copyright and Fair Use.

What is copyrighted?

Any work in a fixed format. A movie, YouTube (or other) video, report, article, etc.

When do I need to worry about copyright?

When you make a copy. So, don't make a copy!  Instead link, embed or provide a URL to the work you want to include.  Your Research Library is glad to help with this. 

What if I MUST make a copy?

Check to see if there is a Creative Commons license applied to the work.  (Again, contact us if you'd like assistance.)

What if there is no Creative Commons license?

Begin by contacting Academic Support for assistance. If you decide to make a copy anyway, you are in the realm of "Fair Use."  Read on for Fair Use guidelines.

Take this short (4 question) quiz to determine if your use of an item (book, article, video, etc) is appropriate under Fair Use guidelines.


Authoritative Resources and Fake News

We've also created a page on spotting fake news & finding authoritative resourcesFind out more here.

US Gov't & Copyright

Citing Government Publications

If you are wondering how to cite a government document or report, check out this website, from Radford University.

Need more help?

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LibGuides are a service provided by Marshall Center librarians to compile information resources on selected topics for Marshall Center faculty, staff, students, alumni and other library users. Use of these resources does not reflect the views of or endorsement by the Marshall Center, the US Department of Defense, or the US government, German government or Munich Security Conference. All original content in these compilations is copyrighted, unless specifically noted otherwise. All rights to copyrighted items are reserved.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. With respect to documents available from this server, neither the United States Government nor any of its service members or employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.