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Copyright: Why Copyright?

FAQ, definitions, and information on copyright in teaching and learning for faculty, staff, and students at Indiana State University.

Copyright at ISU

Copyright Educational Resources

What is Copyright and Why is it Important?

What is Copyright? 

Copyright is a protection of original works "fixed in any tangible medium of expression."  granted upon creation. Copyright Act of 1976 § 102, 17 U.S.C. § 107 (2016) 

What is Protected by Copyright? 

  • Literary works 
  • Musical works
  • Dramatic works
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works 
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual works 
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

Why is it important? 

Copyright applies to almost everything, that includes materials used and created in education and learning at colleges and universities.  Including:

  • videos (streamed, dvds, downloads)
  • sound records (podcasts, streams, downloads)
  • Print materials (texts, study guides, syllabi, class notes, articles, images, etc.)
  • digital materials (course packs, syllabi, question banks, labs, lecture slides & notes, eBooks, articles, images, etc.)

How Long Does it Last? 

  • Post January 1, 1978, from the moment of its creation and gives it a term lasting for the author’s life plus an additional 70 years. 
  • For Corporate works created post 1978: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever expires first

‚ÄčUnpublished Works

  • Unpublished works Life of the author + 70 years
  • Unpublished anonymous and pseudonymous works and corporate works 120 yrs from creation 

Collections Strategy & Copyright Librarian

Information Notice

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you have specific legal questions pertaining to Indiana State University, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.