What is Copyright?

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Copyright is a form of legal protection that covers most forms of both published and unpublished works such as books, sound or video recordings, art works, photographs and other printed or digital material. The copyright owner of a work could be the author, the publisher, or any other person or entity having legal ownership. In most cases, permission must be obtained from the current copyright owner in order to use any of these works.   

Copyright can be a complex issue but it’s very important that we try to understand how it works so copyrighted materials can be used legally at AUS. Although we provide services to help you comply with copyright law, the ultimate responsibility for respecting copyright rests with you.

For more information, please refer to Copyright Basics by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Rights of Copyright Owners

Under the Copyright Act, copyright owners are given the exclusive right to:

  • Reproduction – the right to make copies of a protected work
  • Distribution – the right to sell or otherwise distribute copies to the public
  • Prepare derivative works based upon the work
  • Performance and display rights – the rights to perform a protected work or to display a work in public