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USC's Office of the General Counsel provides guidance to USC faculty, staff, and students using copyrighted works in their research and educational endeavors.
This guide and any linked content is intended to provide general information about copyright and does not constitute legal advice.
Articles and ebooks licensed by the USC Health Sciences Libraries are available for USC students, staff, and faculty to obtain one copy for personal use.
Copyright laws and license restrictions state that you cannot make additional copies and distribute them, or place your copy of the article or book online for free download.
You can use the Norris Library Course Reserves system to share readings with students within a class. Or, you can create your own specially-formatted links to place in emails, on syllabi, and on webpages, to provide access to articles and ebooks to other USC students, staff, and faculty. Watch the videos below to learn how to create these links.
The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. These tools give creators a standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. (creativecommons.org)
"Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works." United States Copyright Office
Copyright offers exclusive rights to the creators of expressive works. These rights include:
What type of works can be copyrighted?
Watch these videos and read these documents to learn more about copyright and how it affects researchers, professors, and students on campus.
What is Fair Use?
Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law allows for some uses of portions of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Section 107 identifies four factors by which Fair Use is determined:
These are interactive Fair Use evaluators that may help inform your decision to use copyrighted works.
“The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.” – U.S. Copyright Office
The USC Office of the General Counsel (USC OGC) is the best source for answers to copyright questions for USC students, staff, and faculty that arise in the course of their education, research, and work at the University.
Review the USC OGC's Bulletin on Basic Information on Copyright and Fair Use for Using Works of Others.