Distance Learning and the TEACH ActCopyrighted materials in the ClassroomFair Use Common ScenariosSample Permission Request
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Copyright at NPS   Tags: copyright  

Copyright law and Fair Use Doctrine for students & faculty
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015 URL: http://libguides.nps.edu/copyright Print Guide RSS Updates

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SECNAV Instruction 5870.4A

Navy Instruction SECNAV 5870.4A (16 August 2005) provides revised procedures for obtaining permissions from copyright owners for use of copyrighted materials in the Department of the Navy (DON).


Fair Use or not? Common scenarios

The scenarios below are intended to help faculty and students evaluate Fair Use. These scenarios are illustrative, not exhaustive. 

The examples deal with situations involving:



We'd like to thank librarian Ingrid Redman of the Bern Dibner Library of Science and Technology for her gracious permission to share her work on Copyright and Fair Use for use as part of this guide.


Table of Contents

Copyright Home
Definition of copyright law, fair use or not?, etc.
Obtaining Permission
SECNAV Instruction, sample permission request letter, etc.
Determining Copyright
Determining if something is protected by copyright
NPS Faculty & Copyright
Copyright & government employees, obtaining permission, fair use in the classroom, etc.
Fair Use
What is fair use? Tools to help you determine fair use, etc.
NPS Students & Copyright
Understanding your copyright as an NPS student depends on your status. What kind of student are you?
Public Domain
When is a work in the public domain, and what is it?
More Resources
Websites, videos, books, etc.

Copyright on Campus video by Copyright Clearance Center


Copyright Law defined

Copyright law, as defined in Title 17 of the United States Code, protects "original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression" for a limited period. Copyright protection includes, for instance, the legal right to publish and sell literary, artistic, or musical work, and copyright protects authors, publishers and producers, and the public.  Copyright applies both to traditional media (books, records, etc.) and to digital media (electronic journals, web sites, etc.). Copyright protects the following eight categories of works:

  1. literary works
  2. musical works
  3. dramatic works
  4. pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  7. sound recordings
  8. architectural works

Ownership of a copyrighted work includes the right to control the use of that work. Use of such work by others during the term of the copyright requires either permission from the author or reliance on the doctrine of fair use. Failure to do one or the other will expose the user to a claim of copyright infringement for which the law provides remedies including payment of money damages to the copyright owner.


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One really good article

  • What You Don't Know about Copyright...but Should  
    A lawyer and a librarian, author Nancy Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. "I'm not sure anybody has a very good knowledge" of copyright, she says. Learn more with this article.

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