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Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. This protects both published and unpublished works.

The Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to:

  • reproduce or copy the work
  • create derivative works based on the original author's work
  • distribute copies of the work
  • perform the work (including digitally transmitting the work)
  • display the work publicly

Generally speaking, copyright ownership of a work exists the moment the work is created (and is able to be reproduced) by the creator. A copyright symbol, date, and name of claimant (for example, © 2004 Metropolitan Community College) does not HAVE to be affixed to the work, but is recommended.

For more specific details on copyright, visit the website of the United States Copyright Office, and other copyright links we have provided.

Here at MCC, we need to be very concerned with the TEACH ACT and FAIR USE regarding copyright—particularly here in Instructional Design Services, where we help instructors produce learning materials and teaching aids that are often reproduced and used over and over in the (digital) classroom.

Learn more about copyright in the classroom from the links at the MCC Library's Copyright Information page. MCC faculty and staff may contact the Curriculum Design Studio with copyright questions.