Copyright Basics

What is Copyright?

Copyright provides to an author or copyright holder protection (exclusive rights) for his/her intellectual property. This right is granted to United States citizens in Article Ⅰ Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Congress did this to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The most outstanding of these exclusive rights are the rights to reproduce, distribute, display and make derivative works. [Full coverage of the copyright laws]

In order for progress to continue, others, as well as the author or copyright holder, have to be able to use these works. To this end, limitations on exclusive rights have been codified by Congress. These limitations include:

  • Fair use
  • Reproduction by libraries and archives
  • Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord
  • Exemption of certain performances and displays
  • Secondary transmissions
  • Ephemeral recordings

Copyright Resources

NKU Resources:

General Resources:

Obtaining Permissions:

Registering Copyrights:

University Copyright Webpages:

Copyright and the Internet:

Intellectual Property Overviews: