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Copyright: Explore Copyright

Discover your rights and responsibilities for the ethical use of information

Purpose of Copyright

Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works.

Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings.

Learn more about copyright from this video created by the Copyright Clearance Center.

Books @ the MJC Library

WorldCat logo

Use WorldCat to discover books, eBooks, videos, and more for your research. Use the search bar below to begin your search:


For complete instructions on using WorldCat check out our WorldCat research guide.

The books below are examples of some of the books you might like to use at the MJC Library.

Copyright on Campus

When you want to use others' copyrighted materials in your teaching, you need to ask yourself three important questions:

1.   Is the material in the public domain? If so, you are free to use it without seeking permission.

2.   Does my proposed use fall under exemptions to the copyright law?

You can use the Fair Use Checklist, created by Kenneth D. Crews (formerly of Columbia University) and Dwayne K. Buttler (University of Louisville), as a guide to help you consider whether or not your intended use falls under the fair use exemption. Note: This checklist is not about simply checking and counting boxes. Instead, it is a guide to help you weigh the factors of fair use against your intended use. 

3.   Do I need to seek permission to use the material?

  • No - The material is already licensed by your institution for your proposed use
  • No - There are terms and conditions attached to the work or the Web site where you found it permitting your use
  • Yes - If none of the above apply.

View this brief video from the Copyright Clearance Center to learn more about U.S. copyright law and its impact and use on college campuses.

Copyright on Campus video

Tools to Determine Copyright Coverage

There are a lot of different issues involved in figuring out if U.S. copyright law requires you to seek permission (and often, pay a fee) to use others' materials in your teaching.

There are many tools available to help you determine if your intended use of others' materials is allowed under U.S. copyright law.


Use these tools linked below to determine if your use is allowed and/or if you need to seek permission to use material:

Copyright FAQs

Use the links below to learn about requesting permission and how to seek copyright for your own work