This site was created to provide the Hamilton community with an introduction to copyright law, educational fair use guidelines, links to licensed, public domain and royalty-free resources, and related information for faculty, staff and students who use copyrighted materials in their teaching, research and coursework.

As a community it is important that all members respect the rights of intellectual property owners by adhering to the Copyright Law of the United States, the Hamilton College Copyright Policy, and understand the limited rights allowed by the fair use exemption.

Copyright Overview

Copyright provides the creators of original works of authorship with a limited set of exclusive rights to copy, distribute, and perform their works.

Copyright law gives copyright owners the exclusive right to:

  • reproduce a work
  • prepare derivative works based on the original
  • distribute copies
  • perform the work
  • display the work
  • perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission, in the case of sound recordings

Copyright-protected works include:

  • literary works
  • musical works, including any accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works

What cannot be Copyrighted:

  • works in the public domain
  • ideas
  • facts
  • raw data
  • names, titles, slogans, or short phrases -- in some cases these may be protected by trademark law

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

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