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Terms to Know

  • Copyright: A form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."  Learn more about Copyright.
  • Creative Commons: Works to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.  Learn more about Creative Commons.
  • Fair Use: Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright code provides parameters for the legal use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. The law mandates that four factors be considered in determining whether or not a use is fair.  Learn more about the doctrine of Fair Use and the Four Factors.
  • Open Access:  Freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors.  Learn more about Open Access
  • Open Educational Resources (OER):  Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits sharing, accessing, repurposing -- including for commercial purposes—and collaborating with others.  Lean more about Open Educational Resources.
  • Orphaned Work:  A copyright protected work for which rightsholders are positively indeterminate or uncontactable. Sometimes the names of the originators or rightsholders are known, yet it is impossible to contact them because additional details cannot be found.  Learn more about Orphaned Works.
  • Public Domain: Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.  Learn more about how to determine what is in the public domain.
  • Public Performance Rights (PPR):  PPR gives you the right to legally screen videos or play music in a public setting.  Please note that videos are usually considered "home use" only unless they have been specifically purchased or licensed with PPR.  Learn more about securing public performance rights.
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