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“Congress shall have Power . . . To 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.”
— United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8
The United States Copyright Office's website notes that copyright has been a part of U.S. law since the nation’s founding. Congress passed the first federal copyright law in 1790, and has updated it throughout the years to keep up with the times.
Copyright and Fair Use
What is Copyright?
Copyright is the legal protection that allows authors, artists,
photographers, composers, and other creators to control the
reproduction and distribution of their work.
What is Fair Use?
“Fair use” is the acceptable use of
copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the author or owner. It is generally granted for the
purposes of research, teaching and scholarship.
Resources on Copyright
University of Louisville Copyright Guidelines & Resources
Basic information on copyright, fair use, and more in relation to teaching, learning, and research. Also includes an instructional module.
University of Louisville Checklist for Fair Use
Not sure whether it is possible for a copyrighted work to be considered fair use? Complete this checklist!
Enables "sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge" by providing the legal tools necessary for easier search, discovery, and use.
United States Copyright Office
"Registers copyright claims, records information about copyright ownership, provides information to the public, and assists Congress and other parts of the government on a wide range of copyright issues."
University of Texas Copyright Crash Course
Available to anyone interested in understanding and managing their copyrights.
U.S. Copyright Office YouTube Channel
Introductory videos, webinars, training series and more on copyright and the Copyright Office for new and longtime learners.