Skip to Main Content

Doctoral Studies: Copyright and Fair Use

What is Fair Use?

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, fair use is defined as, "a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances."

U.S. Copyright Office. (2018). More Information on Fair Use. Retrieved from

Legal Disclaimer

The purpose of this page is to provide information and resources concerning copyright and is not intended to provide legal advice.

What is Copyright?

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright is defined as:

A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for "original works of authorship", including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. "Copyright" literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents or ingredients are not subject to copyright.

U.S. Copyright Office. (N.D.). U.S. Copyright Office Definitions. Retrieved from

Attribution Tools

What is Creative Commons?

According to their website, "Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools."

They provide six types of copyright licenses to allow the level of sharing and use by others as decided by the copyright owner.

Creative Commons. (2018). Frequently Asked Questions - What is Creative Commons and what do you do?. Retrieved from