Copyright provides creators of original works with exclusive rights to copy and distribute their works. In the U.S., there are provisions related to copyright in the Constitution, federal law, and in various “guidelines" for education and fair use.
»See the Copyright Law & UST Policy section for more.
There are important but often misunderstood guidelines relating to use of materials in the classroom, as well as to the "fair use” of copyrighted content under certain circumstances. In these pages, we will help you determine whether your use is “fair,” and describe how to seek permission to use content from the copyright holder.
»See the Advice on Appropriate Use section for more.
Copyright law applies to digital works as well as print, and the widespread downloading of protected music and video works is addressed here. Copyright Infringement and File Sharing: What Students Need to Know.
Once you have determined that a proposed use of content does not meet the education or fair use exceptions, what's next? There are some alternative ways to make scholarly content available to students without violating copyright.
»See the Alternatives to Copying section for more.
UST faculty and staff using published materials must understand the basics of copyright law to make their own determination of how copyright law fits the intended use. While the University of St. Thomas does not have a specific person or office which can provide specific and legal advice in this area, the information provided on these pages is designed to help students, faculty, and staff understand and comply with copyright law and respect the intellectual property rights of authors.
Why Should I Care about Copyright?
1) It's the law. Federal statutes prohibit the unauthorized use of copyrighted material.
2) It's the right thing to do. Faculty and students should respect the rights of owners and creators of copyrighted material.
3) It's the smart thing to do. Individuals at UST are responsible for their own actions regarding the legal use of copyrighted materials. The best defense against claims of copyright infringement is a good faith effort to comply with the law.
The information included in these pages is intended to assist the UST community to comply with federal copyright laws and guidelines. While the university strives to provide accurate information in these pages, the ultimate responsibility for complying with the law rests with individual students, faculty and staff.
Comments, questions, or feedback may be directed to: