Copyright, along with patents and trademarks, are the three major intellectual property rights. Copyright protects original works fixed in a tangible medium of expression, including websites, blogs, google image search.

Copyright protects:

  • literary works
  • musical works, including accompanying words
  • dramatic works, including accompanying music
  • pantomimes and choreographic works
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  • sound recordings
  • architectural works

Copyright does not protect:

  • procedures, processes, systems, methods of operation (these fall under patent law)
  • ideas, concepts, principles, or discoveries
  • titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, mere listings of ingredients or contents (these do not meet the criteria of originality)
  • other unoriginal or unfixed works

Please see our Copyright Basics [link yet to be created libguide] and Copyright and Intellectual Property Tool Kit for more detailed information and university policies and procedures concerning copyright.

The Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing as well as the ULS Copyright Team, can offer general copyright information and assist you in thinking through your copyright questions

We can assist you with questions like:

  • How do I request permission to re-use a figure or table in a new paper?
  • How does signing a publishing agreement effect my copyrights?
  • What is the public domain?

You can search our FAQ or contact us to set up a consultation.


However, please be aware that we are not lawyers and can't offer legal advice. We can only educate about copyright law and institutional policy in general terms. If you are unclear about your options when confronted with a specific legal issue related to copyright, you are urged to consult an attorney experienced with copyright law.