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Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Fair Use

Welcome to the guide on subject on Copyright, Intellectual Property, and Fair Use

This guide is meant to be a resource for RCC faculty, students, and staff who have questions about copyright, intellectual property, and fair use. It contains books, databases, videos, and a wide range of websites that can be used to learn more about individual's rights and resposibilities under copyright law.


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S.Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

Intellectual Property:

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Fair Use:

A limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.

Image of a large Copyright symbol