Copyright at NPS

Copyright law and Fair Use Doctrine for students & faculty

NPS Policy for the Use of Copyrighted Materials

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.

One really good article

Provost's Annual Copyright Reminder: Use of Copyrighted Materials at NPS


Questions on copyright may be directed to the Associate University Librarian or Office of General Counsel. (requires NPS login)


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.