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Copyright & Fair Use: Home

This guide gives some resources on Copyright and Fair Use for the UTA community. This is only a guide to resources, not a legal document.


COPYRIGHT is a bundle of rights. The rights defined in copyright law are exclusive rights of the copyright holder – the author or creator.  These include the rights to:

  • reproduce,
  • distribute,
  • or prepare derivative works
  • to perform or display the work, or
  • to authorize others to do any of those things


    • These rights are alienable – meaning you can give them away or sell them giving away or selling others.
    • You may grant licenses for these rights – which can be exclusive (meaning just the one person or entity you define may use the right or rights) or non-exclusive (meaning that anyone or any entity may use the right or rights).
  • These rights are also divisible – meaning you can retain some rights while giving away or selling other rights.

Many publishers include contractual language that suggests that the author or creator sign away many more of their rights than is necessary.

Creative Commons was developed to created a middle ground between ALL RIGHTS RESERVED and NO RIGHTS RESERVED. 


Content for this guide created by  Faedra Wills and Rafia Mirza


The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at the University of Texas at Arlington with an understanding of copyright law and fair use.

How do you violate copyright?
You violate copyright when you fail to give compensation, or use ideas (content,images, music) WITHOUT getting permission, even if you give credit.

Plagiarism is not the same as Copyright Infringement.

There are some exceptions in copyright law, where you can use items under the U.S. doctrine of Fair Use. Fair Use covers uses such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

You can also use items that are in the public domain (Public Domain items are no longer protected under copyright laws) or that have been released under certain Creative Commons licenses.

If you have general questions*, you can contact us at 

Nothing on this guide is to be construed as legal advice.
For actual legal advice, you will need to consult with a lawyer rather then a librarian. You can contact the UT System: Office of the General Council

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