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Use Copyrighted Materials in the Classroom: Home

Use this guide for information and guidance on copyright issues.

Yellow copyright symbolThis guide provides information on using copyrighted materials in the classroom for faculty. 

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

Students! Use the Learn About Copyright link below. This site is for instructors and isn't focused on your needs.

Is It Protected by Copyright?

Drawing of a camera.

Protected: Work of the Visual Arts

Includes: photographs, prints, art reproductions, maps, technical drawings, architectural works

Drawing of a brain.

Not Protected: Ideas, Methods, and Systems

Includes: ideas, procedures, systems, concepts, principles, discoveries, and inventions (may be covered by a patent)

Drawing of an open book.

Protected: Literary Works

Includes: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, textbooks, advertising copy, and computer programs

Drawing of a megaphone.

Not Protected: Works Not Fixed in a Tangible Form

Examples: a choreographic work or improvisational speech that has not been written down

Drawing of a music note.

Protected: Sound Recordings

Includes: recordings of songs and other musical performances

Drawing of a caduceus (medical symbol)

Not Protected: Familiar Symbols and Designs

Includes: letters or symbols on a keyboard, musical notations, arrows, yin yangs, patterns (such as polka dot), and religious symbols

Drawing of the comedy drama theater masks.

Protected: Work of the Performing Arts

Includes: scripts for plays or movies and choreography


Not Protected: Names, Titles, Short Phrases

Includes: names of people or characters, titles, names of businesses or products, slogans (may be covered by a trademark)

Symbol of a film reel with the arrow play icon.

Protected: Motion Picture/Audiovisual Works

Includes: films of all kinds, television shows, videogames, and their accompanying sounds

Additional Library Support

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Links to other websites are for the convenience of our users and are not intended as endorsements. The College is not responsible for any information provided on those websites.

Neither the College nor the library is legally responsible for the use of the copyright information on this page. The user retains legal responsibility for all decisions on copyright matters.