Revamped by Will Ferrall
Using Research
Understanding Copyright Laws
Do Copyright Laws Apply to Me?
Yes, Copyright indicates ownership of the intellectual property, including words, musical notes, drawings, and other creative expressions of ideas. The Copyright laws apply to you and everyone else. In addition, the laws apply whether the information is in printed or electronic form.
What is Fair Use?
"The "fair use" exemption to (U.S.) copyright law was created to allow things such as commentary, parody, news reporting, research and education about copyrighted works without the permission of the author. That's important so that copyright law doesn't block your freedom to express your own words -- only the ability to express other people's. ... Are you reproducing an article from the New York Times because you needed to in order to criticize the quality of the New York Times, or because you couldn't find time to write your own story, or didn't want your readers to have to pay for the New York Times web site? The first is probably fair use, the others probably aren't." Templeton, Brad. (2001) 10 Big Myths about copyright explained. [Online].
What should I do if I find a great photograph or other types of images on the Web to use in my paper?
Images are included in fair use guidelines. Make sure you give the person who created the image credit and if you are going to use it on a website, ASK first! Remember the person who created the image owns the copyright and has the right to decide whether other people can use it. Some images, however, are created in the "public domain" or are listed as available for use by anyone for any purpose. Make sure the images you find are free to use by others BEFORE you use it in your website or paper.

TRY the Ohiolink Digital Media Center to obtain images, including art, architecture, map, satellite, etc. Any image in the Digital Media Center can be downloaded and used in student and faculty presentations and reports, as long as you cite your source.
Important Tips
Copyright begins immediately, as soon as the item is created.
Fair use guidelines do allow you to use a small amount of copyrighted materials without asking permission. However, whenever possible or if in doubt ask the copyright holder for permission.
Materials found on the Internet are copyright protected! You can not borrow them for your own use without giving credit to the person who created the information.
Assume that all materials you find are copyrighted, unless the item clearly indicates that it is in the public domain, and therefore, can be used by anyone.
The copyright symbol, ©, does not need to be present in order for the work to be copyrighted.
Provide all necessary information in your bibliography so that others can find the same resources.
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