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Copyright and Fair Use: Copyright Law

This guide will help students and faculty understand copyright, fair use, and plagiarism better.


The purpose of this guide is to provide faculty, staff, and students at Utah Tech University with an understanding of copyright law, fair use, and plagiarism. This site provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students on the usage of copyrighted material; however, this site is not comprehensive. For more detailed information about copyright issues, please contact a librarian or the UT General Counsel office.

Copyright, fair use, and plagiarism are important facts in the lives of our campus community. Please read through this guide to help you understand the complexity of copyright, fair use, and plagiarism rules.  


Copyright Basics

Copyright for Students

What is copyright?

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works."

"Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer softwar, and architecture. Copyright does NOT protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."

U.S. Copyright office (

Copyright Basics Video