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The University of Houston Libraries offer many resources regarding Copyright Law and Fair Use. Please visit their site for more information. Below are a few helpful notes regarding Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

  • All Content including online content is protected by Copyright law, so permission is required from the creator for use.
  • Your work or content is automatically protected by Copyright laws once it is permanently recorded.
    • Protected for 70 years after the death of the owner, then after that time it is in public domain.
    • Content in public domain are free to use and do not require permission for use or copy.
  • Fair use allows the public to reproduce portions of a copyrighted work without permission for purposes such as scholarly criticism, comment, teaching, scholarship, and research.
    • No set limit to a number of words or percentage of work used to qualify for fair use, but four factors are considered: purpose of use, nature of use, amount of work used, and effect of use.
  • Creative Commons (CC) licenses help creators of content retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work with an attribute the original creator of a work

Quick Links to Resources

Copyright Crash Course: A crash course in Copyright available online under a Creative Commons license. 

Interactive Copyright Guide: An interactive guide that allows you to select the date of first publication and type of author to determine if a work is protected by Copyright.

Blackboard Help on US Copyright Law: A page where Blackboard highlights frequently asked questions regarding Copyright Law.  

The TEACH Act Guide: A brief guide regarding the TEACH Act.